North Korea recently announced plans to launch a satellite between November 22 and December 1. Japanese and South Korean officials believe this could be North Korea’s third attempt to put a spy satellite into orbit. Japan’s coast guard said North Korea had sent a notification of the launch towards the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea. South Korea’s National Maritime Safety Agency issued a warning to ships about the planned launch for the same areas as in previous launches earlier this year.
The recent warnings from South Korean officials indicate that another attempt could be coming soon. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the plans and announced that Japan’s defense systems are ready for any “unexpected situation”. He also noted that the use of rocket technology to launch satellites is a violation of several United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Kishida said Japan would work with the United States, South Korea, and others to persuade North Korea not to continue the launch. South Korea’s defense ministry said it was monitoring North Korea’s planned launch. North Korea plans to have a fleet of satellites to track the movements of US and South Korean forces.
According to state media KCNA, the military buildup is North Korea’s sovereign right and a response to the US-led space surveillance system. Spy satellites are seen as key to North Korea’s weapons development. This upcoming launch will be the first since September when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited a Russian spaceport and Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged to help Pyongyang build a satellite. Additionally, South Korea separately plans to launch its first reconnaissance satellite on November 30 from California with the help of