North Korea announced today that it has successfully placed a spy satellite into orbit, marking its third launch attempt this year. This achievement demonstrates the nation’s determination to build a space-based surveillance system amid ongoing tensions with the United States.
While independent confirmation of North Korea’s claim is currently unavailable, it is expected that the launch will receive strong condemnation from the United States and its allies. The United Nations prohibits North Korea from conducting satellite launches due to concerns that they are cover-ups for missile technology tests.
According to a statement by North Korea’s space authorities, the Malligyong-1 satellite was placed into orbit by the country’s space launch vehicle following a successful liftoff. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un personally observed the launch. The statement also mentioned that the spy satellite will enhance North Korea’s war readiness in response to perceived hostile military actions from its rivals, and more launches are planned in the near future.
South Korea and Japan have confirmed the North Korean launch. In response, the Japanese government issued a brief J-Alert missile warning for Okinawa, urging residents to seek shelter. South Korea’s military has reaffirmed its readiness, coordinating closely with the US and Japan.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the launch, emphasizing that the use of ballistic missile technology in the firing is a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. He stressed that it poses a serious threat to the safety of the people.
The spy satellite is a coveted military asset for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who aims to modernize the country’s weapons systems in response to what he perceives as escalating threats from the US. North Korea had previously attempted to launch a spy satellite twice this year, but these attempts ended in failure due to technical issues.
The delay in the third launch was speculated to be a result of North Korea seeking Russian technological assistance for its spy satellite program.