Spy satellite

North Korea plans to launch satellite between May 27 and June 4, Japan Coast Guard says

North Korea plans to launch satellite between May 27 and June 4, Japan Coast Guard says
A TV monitor displays daily news at a station in Seoul, South Korea, 22 November 2023. According to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), North Korea launched a new-type carrier rocket 'Chollima-1' with the reconnaissance satellite 'Malligyong-1' from Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in Cholsan County, on 21 November 2023. According to KCNA, North Korea's National Aerospace Technology Administration (NATA) successfully launched 'Chollima-1' and 'accurately put the reconnaissance satellite 'Malligyong-1' on its orbit at 22:54:13, 705s after the launch'. EPA-EFE/JEON HEON-KYUN

TOKYO/SEOUL, May 27 (Reuters) - North Korea has notified Japan it plans to launch a rocket carrying a satellite between May 27 and June 4, the Japan Coast Guard said on Monday, drawing a swift warning from Seoul and Tokyo not to go ahead with what they called an illegal move.

The South Korean government said later the North had issued a notice of a military reconnaissance satellite launch. If successful, it would be Pyongyang’s second spy satellite in orbit.

The notice came ahead of a trilateral summit between Japan, South Korea and China in Seoul, where the South Korean and Japanese leaders demanded that the launch plan be scrapped, saying it violates U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Officials from the United States, Japan, and South Korea held phone talks in response to the notice and agreed that a North Korean satellite launch using ballistic missile technology would violate U.N. resolutions, Japan’s Foreign Ministry said.

The officials agreed to demand that North Korea cancel the planned launch, the ministry said in an email.

South Korea said separately that the “so-called military reconnaissance satellite launch” would be a provocative act and a serious threat to regional security.

“Our military will be taking measures that show our strong capabilities and will,” South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman Lee Sung-jun said at a news briefing, without elaborating.

Later, the Joint Chiefs said about 20 aircraft, including F-35 stealth fighter jets, conducted attack drills in airspace south of the no-fly zone along the inter-Korean border.

The North Korean notice included navigational warnings for areas in the Yellow Sea and east of Luzon Island in the Philippines, the Japanese coast guard said, where stages of the rocket are planned to drop.

North Korea launched its first military spy satellite in November, putting it in orbit after two earlier failed attempts in 2023.

The country claimed the satellite had taken surveillance photographs of the U.S. White House, the Pentagon and South Korean military installations, but it has not published any pictures.

North Korea has vowed to launch three more spy satellites this year. It rejects the U.N. Security Council resolutions banning its satellite launch as infringing on its sovereign right to self defence and space exploration.

The successful launch in November came after the leaders of North Korea and Russia met at a space launch facility in the Russian Far East, where President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would help Pyongyang build satellites.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka in Tokyo and Jack Kim in Seoul; editing by Christina Fincher, Tomasz Janowski and Gerry Doyle)


Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.