North Korea has launched a spy satellite into orbit, according to the country’s space agency. The “Chollima-1” carrier rocket successfully placed the Malligyong-1 satellite into space. The North Korean government claims that the satellite will improve its war preparedness against “dangerous military moves” by its enemies. The launch was condemned by the United States, Japan, and South Korea due to concerns that it is a cover for testing missile technology. The US National Security Council stated that the launch raises tensions and risks destabilizing the security situation in the region.
South Korea’s military stated that it will maintain readiness for any provocations from North Korea, in alliance with the United States. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called the launch a serious threat to people’s safety and lodged a protest with North Korea. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has previously expressed the desire to modernize his weapons systems in response to US threats.
This is not the first time North Korea attempted to launch a spy satellite this year. Previous attempts in 2021 ended in failure due to technical issues. It is believed that the delay in the latest launch was due to North Korea receiving Russian technological assistance. North Korea and Russia have been working to strengthen their relationship, and there have been speculations of a weapons deal between the two nations.
The launch of the spy satellite has raised concerns regarding North Korea’s missile capabilities. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol stated that if North Korea succeeds in launching a military reconnaissance satellite, it would signify an advancement in its intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities. South Korea is considering reinforced countermeasures in response to the launch.