South Korea’s military has warned North Korea to cease its planned spy satellite launch. South Korea has suggested that it could suspend an agreement to reduce tensions and carry out front-line aerial surveillance. North Korea has previously failed two attempts to launch a spy satellite and has declared intentions for a third attempt in October. However, there has been a delay, and South Korean officials now warn that a launch could occur soon.
The United Nations Security Council has banned North Korea from launching satellites, as it views them as disguised tests of missile technology. South Korean officials have stated that the satellite launch is an attempt by North Korea to improve its monitoring of South Korea and to advance its long-range missile program.
The South Korean Defense Minister, Shin Wonsik, has said in an interview that a launch is expected later this month. South Korean officials have attributed the delay to North Korea receiving technology assistance from Russia. It is reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks in September to increase transfers of weapons and technology. North Korea is seeking Russian technologies and expertise to enhance its nuclear and other military capabilities.
A satellite launch by North Korea would violate the inter-Korean agreement and break clauses that established buffer and no-fly zones along the North-South Korean border. South Korean military officer, Kang Hopil, warned that if North Korea proceeds with the launch, necessary measures will be taken to protect the lives and safety of its people.
Despite North Korea’s repeated violations of the agreement, South Korea has been patient and abided by its clauses. However, this has caused considerable problems for South Korea’s military readiness. The situation remains tense as South Korea continues to monitor and respond to North Korea’s planned satellite launch.