North Korea has notified Japan of its plan to launch a satellite-carrying rocket, after experiencing two failures earlier this year. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has instructed his government to work with the United States and South Korea to persuade North Korea to abandon the plan. The launch is in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions that prohibit North Korea from using ballistic missile technology for any purpose, including satellite launches.
The Japan Coast Guard has designated three maritime danger zones where debris from the rocket is expected to fall: two west of the Korean Peninsula and one east of the Philippines’ island of Luzon. The window for the launch is from midnight on Tuesday to midnight on December 1.
North Korea previously attempted to launch a military reconnaissance satellite in May and August, but was unsuccessful. Although they announced a plan to launch one in October, it did not happen. However, South Korean defense minister Shin Won Sik recently stated that North Korea could potentially launch a military reconnaissance satellite by the end of November.
In response to the notification, Prime Minister Kishida has instructed relevant government ministries and agencies in Tokyo to be fully prepared for a possible satellite launch. The Japanese government, along with the United States and South Korea, will continue to engage with North Korea in an effort to discourage them from proceeding with the launch.
It is important to note that any activities by North Korea involving ballistic missile technology are prohibited by international resolutions. North Korea’s persistence in pursuing such activities raises concerns among its neighboring countries and the international community.