South Korea has announced that it will take action against North Korea for launching a satellite, which it claims is a violation of UN Security Council resolutions banning missile tests. The launch is seen as a provocation that threatens the national security of South Korea.
Chief Director of Operations at the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, Kang Ho-pil, has warned North Korea to immediately stop preparations for another launch. He stated that the launch is a clear breach of UNSC resolutions and called it a provocation that threatens the safety and security of the South Korean people. If North Korea fails to heed the warning, South Korea will take measures to protect its people.
Although the specific measures were not detailed in the announcement, it has been suggested that South Korea could suspend the 2018 inter-Korean military agreement. This agreement calls for the cessation of hostile acts and aims to create a no-fly zone and remove landmines and guard posts in the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone.
South Korean military officials believe that a North Korean spy satellite would be rudimentary, given their assessment of previous rocket failures. However, the alleged arms deal between North Korea and Russia, where North Korea is accused of providing artillery rounds for Russia’s war in Ukraine, has raised concerns in Seoul and Washington.
In response to the satellite launch, joint naval drills involving South Korea and the US may take place. The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, which is scheduled to make a stop at Busan this week, could participate in these exercises.
Despite the military’s readiness to respond to any provocation from North Korea, the decision to reverse the inter-Korean military agreement would require discussion and approval from the National Security Council.
Both Russia and North Korea have denied the accusations of an arms deal, but South Korea remains alarmed by the possibility of weapon supplies being exchanged between the two countries.