North Korea has formally announced its intention to launch a satellite between November 22 and December 1, a move that defies warnings from South Korea and contravenes multiple UN resolutions prohibiting the use of ballistic missile technology.
The announcement, reported by Kyodo news agency, comes despite South Korea’s urgent calls for Pyongyang to halt its preparations. This launch, if successful, would be North Korea’s third attempt at deploying a spy satellite.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has instructed government ministries and agencies to prepare for the potential North Korean launch. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, through Chief Director of Operations Kang Ho-pil, has warned North Korea sternly, emphasizing the need to suspend these launch preparations immediately.
The launch would not only be a violation of UN Security Council resolutions, which have repeatedly called on North Korea to cease its nuclear and ballistic missile programs but also pose a threat to regional security.
The potential satellite launch raises concerns over the technological overlap between space launch capabilities and ballistic missile development. With North Korea allegedly receiving Russian space technology in exchange for arms and Russian President Vladimir Putin suggesting assistance in satellite building, the launch could significantly enhance North Korea’s military intelligence capabilities.
Furthermore, North Korea’s record number of weapons tests this year, including a recent successful test of a new solid-fuel engine for intermediate-range ballistic missiles, underscores the escalating tension and challenges in the region.