North Korea has informed Japan of its intention to launch a rocket carrying a space satellite between November 22 and December 1, according to Japan’s Coast Guard. This would be the country’s third attempt this year to put a spy satellite into orbit.
Previous attempts to deploy North Korea’s first spy satellite were unsuccessful. After the last attempt in August, North Korean scientists vowed to try again in October. This upcoming launch will be the first since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited Russia’s space launch center in September. During his visit, President Vladimir Putin promised to assist Pyongyang in satellite development.
The announcement of the satellite launch comes after North Korea denounced the potential US sale of missiles to Japan and South Korea, claiming it would escalate tensions and lead to an arms race in the region. The North Korean defense ministry stated that it would take steps to establish deterrence and respond to perceived instability caused by the US and its allies.
Japan’s Prime Minister’s office has stated that they will work with the US, South Korea, and other countries to urge North Korea not to proceed with the launch. Pyongyang’s goal is to deploy a military spy satellite to monitor the activities of US and South Korean forces.
North Korea’s previous attempts at satellite launches in May and August failed due to technical issues. The US and its allies consider these tests to be in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, which prohibit the development of technology applicable to North Korea’s ballistic missile programs.
North Korea views its space and military rocket programs as a sovereign right. Analysts suggest that spy satellites are essential for improving their weapons’ effectiveness.