North Korea has announced that it successfully placed a spy satellite into orbit, marking its third launch attempt this year. The nation’s space authorities stated that the satellite, named Malligyong-1, was launched from the country’s main launch center. However, independent verification of this claim has not yet been confirmed.
The United Nations has banned North Korea from conducting satellite launches, viewing them as disguised tests of missile technology. As a result, this latest launch is expected to receive strong condemnation from the United States and its allies.
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un reportedly observed the launch and stated that it would enhance the nation’s war readiness in response to hostile military actions by its rivals. Both South Korea and Japan confirmed that they detected the launch, with the Japanese government issuing a J-Alert missile warning for Okinawa.
A spy satellite is seen as a crucial military asset by Kim Jong Un, who aims to modernize North Korea’s weapon systems in response to perceived threats from the United States. The country had attempted two satellite launches earlier this year, but both ended in failure.
It is believed that technical assistance from Russia played a role in the success of this launch. Kim Jong Un had visited Russia in September, sparking speculation of a potential weapons deal between the two nations. However, both Russia and North Korea have denied allegations of any arms transfer agreement, which would violate UN bans on weapons trading involving North Korea.
North Korea’s development of spy satellites is not only aimed at monitoring South Korean and US activities but also at enhancing its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities. Experts have warned that if North Korea’s satellite launch is successful, it could signify an increase in their intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities.
In response to North Korea’s launch, South Korea has suggested that it may suspend a 2018 agreement to reduce tensions and resume military exercises. The United States, South Korea, and Japan have called on North Korea to cancel the launch, citing previous violations of UN Security Council resolutions.