North Korea has informed Japan that it intends to launch a satellite between Wednesday and December 1. Tokyo and Seoul view this as a potential violation of a UN ban, as it could be the third attempt by North Korea to put a spy satellite into orbit. The launch is expected to be in the direction of the Yellow Sea and East China Sea. South Korea has issued a warning to vessels in these areas.
Previous attempts by North Korea to launch spy satellites earlier this year were unsuccessful. However, South Korean officials believe that another attempt is likely to happen soon. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has condemned the notice, stating that the use of ballistic missile technology, even for satellite launches, is a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions and a matter of national security.
Japan plans to work with the United States, South Korea, and other nations to strongly urge North Korea to abandon its launch plan. South Korea’s defense ministry is closely monitoring the situation and believes that the third attempt may be successful. In the past, North Korea has notified Japan as the coordinating authority for the International Maritime Organization.
North Korea considers its space and military rocket programs to be its sovereign right. It plans to build a fleet of satellites for monitoring the actions of US and South Korean troops. Analysts suggest that spy satellites play a crucial role in enhancing the effectiveness of North Korea’s weapons.
The planned launch is the first since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited Russia’s modern space station in September. During the visit, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to assist North Korea in satellite development.
In response to the US considering the sale of hundreds of missiles to Japan and South Korea, North Korea denounced it as a dangerous act that threatens peace. South Korea’s military has warned North Korea to cancel its satellite launch, describing it as a provocation. South Korea is also reviewing the possibility of suspending parts of a 2018 agreement with the North.
The US aircraft carrier Carl Vinson recently arrived in the South Korean port of Busan as part of increased readiness against North Korea’s missile and nuclear threats. South Korea plans to launch its first reconnaissance satellite from California on November 30, with assistance from the United States.