Japan, South Korea Sound Warning As North Korea Plans To Launch ‘Spy Satellite’ In 3rd Attempt


Japan has said that North Korea has notified them of its plan to launch a satellite between Thursday and December 1 in what Tokyo and Seoul said could be a third attempt by Pyongyang to put a spy satellite into orbit in violation of a UN ban, reported Reuters. 

On Tuesday, Japan’s Coast Guard said that they received a notice from the North about the satellite launch in the direction of the Yellow Sea and East China Sea, the report added. 

South Korea’s state maritime safety agency issued a warning to vessels of the planned launch for the same areas as previous launches.

Pyongyang has attempted twice earlier this year to launch what it called a spy satellite but failed while officials in South Korea said in recent days it appeared that next attempt could be made soon, the Reuters report said. 

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida issued a condemnation shortly after the notice saying the country’s defence system  including the Aegis destroyers and PAC-3 air defence missiles, stood ready for any “unexpected situation” that arose.

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“Even if the purpose is to launch a satellite, using ballistic missile technology is a violation of a series of United Nations Security Council resolutions,” Kishida told reporters.

“It is also a matter that greatly affects national security.”

He said that Japan will work with the United States and South Korea along with others to “strongly urge” North Korea not to go ahead with the launch. 

South Korea’s defence ministry said it was monitoring the planned launch by the North, adding that the previous launches came in the early hours of the first day of the window. Seoul officials said it was possible that the third attempt would be successful. 

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Seoul has also warned Pyongyang that launching the missile could result in suspension of inter-Korean agreement to reduce tensions and resume front-line aerial surveillance in response, as per an Associated Press report.

“Our military will come up with necessary measures to protect the lives and safety of the people, if North Korea pushes ahead with a military spy satellite launch despite our warning,” a senior South Korean military officer, Kang Hopil, said in a televised statement.

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