Mon. Dec 11th, 2023
North Korea Notifies Japan of Planned Rocket Launch

North Korea has informed Japan that it intends to launch a rocket carrying a space satellite between November 22 and December 1 in the direction of the Yellow Sea and East China Sea, according to Japan’s Coast Guard. This would be the country’s third attempt this year to put a spy satellite into orbit. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida responded to the notice by expressing immediate condemnation, stating that Japan’s defense systems were prepared for any unexpected situation. Kishida also emphasized that using ballistic missile technology for the purpose of launching a satellite is in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions and poses a threat to national security.
Japan, along with the United States, South Korea, and other nations, will work together to strongly urge North Korea to reconsider the launch. North Korea has made previous attempts to launch spy satellites earlier this year, but those attempts were unsuccessful. South Korean officials have indicated that North Korea appeared to be planning another launch in the near future. Japan has been informed of these plans all three times, as it acts as the coordinating authority for the International Maritime Organisation in the region.
This planned launch comes after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s visit to Russia’s modern space launch center in September, where President Vladimir Putin promised assistance to Pyongyang in building satellites. Additionally, North Korea recently denounced the potential sale of hundreds of missiles by the US to Japan and South Korea, claiming it would escalate tension in the region. The North Korean defense ministry vowed to take further measures to defend itself against perceived threats.
North Korea has been pursuing the deployment of a military spy satellite in order to monitor the movements of US and South Korean troops. The country has successfully launched “observation” satellites in the past, but there has been speculation regarding their effectiveness. The planned North Korean launch is scheduled just before South Korea’s own launch of a reconnaissance satellite with the help of the United States.