North Korea has informed Japan that it will make a third attempt to launch a military spy satellite sometime between November 20 and November 30, according to Japanese media reports. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has urged officials to try and convince Pyongyang to abandon this plan in cooperation with the United States and South Korea.
The two previous attempts made by North Korea earlier this year ended in failure due to technical reasons. While North Korea had initially planned to launch the satellite in October, it failed to follow through without providing a reason.
North Korea justifies the need for a spy satellite by referring to what it sees as increasing U.S.-led military threats. However, South Korea has criticized the satellite as being too crude for military reconnaissance. The United Nations Security Council prohibits North Korea from launching satellites, as it considers them to be disguised tests of missile technology.
South Korean officials believe that while North Korea aims to improve its monitoring capabilities of South Korea with a spy satellite, the launch is also a part of its efforts to enhance its long-range missile program.
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