North Korea has informed Japan that it intends to launch a rocket carrying a space satellite sometime between November 22 and December 1. This would mark the country’s third attempt this year to place a spy satellite into orbit. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida immediately condemned the plan, stating that using ballistic missile technology for satellite launches is a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions and a threat to national security.
Japan, along with the United States, South Korea, and other countries, will work together to urge North Korea to reconsider the launch. This comes after North Korea’s recent denouncement of the potential US sale of missiles to Japan and South Korea, which it called a dangerous act that raises tension in the region.
North Korea has made previous attempts this year to launch spy satellites, but they were unsuccessful. The country has notified Japan, as the coordinating authority for the International Maritime Organization, of its plans each time. This planned launch will be the first since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s visit to Russia’s space launch center, where President Vladimir Putin promised to assist Pyongyang in building satellites.
North Korea claims that it wants to place military spy satellites into orbit to monitor the actions of US and South Korean troops. The country considers its space and military rocket programs to be within its sovereign right. Spy satellites are seen as crucial for improving the effectiveness of North Korea’s weapons.
The launch, if carried out, would coincide with South Korea’s own plan to launch a reconnaissance satellite with the help of the US on November 30. This comes amid growing concerns and tensions in the region.