South Korea’s military has issued a warning to North Korea to stop its planned spy satellite launch. South Korea has indicated that it could suspend an agreement to reduce tension and resume aerial surveillance along the front line. North Korea has attempted to launch a spy satellite into space twice before, and is now planning a third attempt in October.
South Korean officials have stated that there has been a delay in the launch, but are still concerned that it could happen soon. The United Nations Security Council has banned North Korea from launching satellites, as it sees them as a disguised missile technology test. South Korea believes that North Korea intends to use the satellite for monitoring South Korea and advancing its long-range missile program.
South Korean Defense Minister Shin Wonsik has stated that a launch is expected later this month. South Korean officials believe that the delay is due to North Korea receiving technology assistance from Russia. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in September for talks on increasing the transfer of weapons and technology. North Korea is reportedly seeking Russian technologies and expertise to strengthen its nuclear and military capabilities.
A satellite launch by North Korea would effectively break the inter-Korean agreement, according to Kang Hopil, a senior South Korean military officer. He accuses North Korea of repeatedly violating the agreement, which established buffer and no-fly zones along the border between the two countries. The South Korean military has been abiding by the agreement, but it has caused problems for their readiness.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.