Sun. Dec 3rd, 2023
North Korea Plans to Launch Satellite-Carrying Rocket in New Window

North Korea has notified Japan of its plan to launch a satellite-carrying rocket within a new nine-day window. The launch window will begin on Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. and end on November 30 at 11:59 p.m., according to the Japan Coast Guard.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has instructed his government to persuade Pyongyang to abandon the plan, in cooperation with the United States and South Korea. Kishida emphasized that if North Korea uses ballistic missile technology, it would violate U.N. Security Council resolutions, regardless of whether it is aimed at launching a satellite.

The Japanese government is committed to gathering and analyzing information about the satellite launch. The Japan Coast Guard has identified three maritime danger zones where rocket debris may fall: two west of the Korean Peninsula and one to the east of the Philippines’ island of Luzon.

Japan, the United States, and South Korea have reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining close trilateral cooperation and have continued to demand that North Korea abandon the launch.

North Korea previously failed to launch a military reconnaissance satellite into orbit in May and August. Although they announced a plan to launch another one in October, it did not materialize. South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won Sik suggested that North Korea could launch a military reconnaissance satellite by the end of November.

In preparation for a possible satellite launch, the Japanese government has ordered the Self-Defense Forces to destroy any projectile that falls within the country’s territory using ground-based interceptor missiles and Aegis-equipped destroyers.