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To spy on the United States.. North Korea confirms its intention to launch a satellite


The development of a spy satellite is part of Pyongyang’s major defense plans announced last year by leader Kim Jong Un.

State media in Pyongyang on Tuesday quoted a senior North Korean official as saying that his country plans to launch a spy satellite in June to monitor the military movements of the United States and its partners.

Japanese officials said Monday that Pyongyang had told them it would launch a satellite starting this week, warning that they believe Kim Jong-un’s regime is in fact planning to test a ballistic missile in defiance of international sanctions.

And on Tuesday, the official North Korean news agency KCNA quoted Ri Pyong Chol, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the ruling party, as saying that the “Military Reconnaissance Satellite No. 1” will “be launched in June” with the aim of “dealing with the dangerous military actions of the United States and its followers.” .

“reckless acts”

And as the North Korean official accused both the United States and South Korea of ​​carrying out “reckless” actions, he explained that his country felt “the need to expand means of reconnaissance and information and improve various defensive and offensive weapons” in an attempt to enhance its military readiness.

The North Korean official also accused the United States of “hostile aerial espionage activities in and around the Korean Peninsula.”

According to Tokyo, Pyongyang notified the Japanese Coast Guard that it would launch the missile between May 31 and June 11, and that the waters near the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and east of Luzon Island in the Philippines are therefore considered dangerous areas.

This warning usually means that debris from the missile or some of its layers may fall into these waters.

North Korea conducted ballistic missile tests in 2012 and then in 2016, in operations it described as satellite launch experiments. On that day, the missiles flew over Okinawa Prefecture in southern Japan.

The development of a spy satellite is part of Pyongyang’s major defense plans announced last year by leader Kim Jong Un.

However, analysts pointed to the great overlap between the techniques of launching satellites into space and the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

On Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida issued instructions regarding “the notification sent by North Korea about its intention to launch a ballistic missile, which it describes as a satellite.”

Kishida asked officials to gather information, remain vigilant, and coordinate closely with allies, including the United States and South Korea.

Violation of Security Council resolutions

“Even if it is described as a satellite, the launch using ballistic missile technology constitutes a violation of UN Security Council resolutions and a serious problem that threatens people’s safety,” Kishida said.

The Japanese Ministry of Defense ordered the Air Force to destroy any ballistic missile that is sure to fall into Japanese waters.

The ministry said that it would allow its forces to use “SM3” missiles and “Patriot PAK-3” missiles to shoot down medium-altitude missiles.

In response to a question by Agence France-Presse, the South Korean Ministry of Defense did not confirm whether it had been informed of the upcoming launch.

But the South Korean Foreign Ministry quickly issued a strongly worded statement.

“North Korea’s alleged launch of a ‘satellite’ constitutes a serious violation of UN Security Council resolutions banning all launches using ballistic missile technology, and is clearly an illegal act that cannot be justified under any pretext,” the ministry said in its statement.

Analyst Chung Sung-chang of the Center for North Korea Studies at the Sejong Institute told AFP that this strategy, which Pyongyang used to inform Japan over South Korea, may be related to the major joint exercises between Seoul and Washington, which began Thursday at a distance of only 25 kilometers south of the border. between the two Koreas.

In addition, Chung noted that Seoul “called North Korea an ‘enemy’ in a defense document in February. North Korea does not like Japan, but now it has more reasons to hate Seoul.”

For weeks, Seoul and Tokyo have been repairing their strained relations and focusing on strengthening their cooperation in the face of North Korean military threats.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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