North Korea has notified Japan of its intention to launch a satellite in the coming days, an act that would violate U.N. resolutions. This would be North Korea’s third attempt to fire a military spy satellite, following two failed attempts earlier this year due to technical issues. North Korea asserts that it needs spy satellites to counter what it perceives as escalating U.S.-led military threats.
The Japanese coast guard has revealed that the satellite launch is planned to take place between Wednesday and November 30. The notice from North Korea identified three potential maritime zones where debris from the rocket carrying the satellite may fall. These areas are the same ones that North Korea had specified for its previous failed satellite launches in May and August.
The U.N. Security Council prohibits any satellite launches by North Korea, viewing them as a cover for testing its missile technology. South Korea, in response to the imminent satellite launch, has warned North Korea to cancel its plans or face consequences, including the suspension of an inter-Korean agreement to reduce tensions.
North Korea has conducted about 100 missile tests since last year as part of its modernization efforts to possess nuclear-capable weapons. While experts believe that the country still has technological hurdles to overcome to achieve this, North Korea’s missile program remains a concern for regional security.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has called for coordination with other countries to persuade North Korea to cancel its launch. Japanese destroyers carrying missile defense systems have been placed on standby in case of any unexpected developments. The foreign ministries of Japan, South Korea, and the U.S. have affirmed their cooperation in urging North Korea to cancel the launch.
It is worth noting that North Korea’s satellite launches have not resulted in additional U.N. sanctions, as Russia and China have consistently vetoed efforts to tighten sanctions. Meanwhile, the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and its battle group have arrived in a South Korean port as a show of readiness against North Korea’s nuclear threats.