N. Korea to launch another satellite this week

By Park Sae-jin Posted : May 27, 2024, 11:21 Updated : May 27, 2024, 11:21

SEOUL, May 27 (AJU PRESS) - North Korea is poised to launch a space rocket carrying a military spy satellite sometime this week, Japan's news agency Kyodo News and public broadcaster NHK reported Monday, citing the Cabinet Secretariat of Japan.

The launch plan came just hours before President Yoon Suk Yeol is about to hold a trilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Chinese Premier Li Qiang in Seoul on Monday.

Japan has confirmed that North Korea informed Tokyo of its plan to launch a rocket carrying a satellite between May 27 and June 4. It designated three maritime zones where debris might fall and the Japan Coast Guard also issued a navigational warning for these areas, advising caution to vessels traveling through.

If successful, the satellite would be Pyongyang's second homemade satellite aimed at conducting surveillance and reconnaissance activities around the Korean Peninsula, following the launch of a similar satellite last year. After two failed attempts, North Korea claimed it successfully launched a satellite from a facility in Cholsan, North Pyongan Province, and placed it into orbit in November last year.

In response to the imminent launch, Kishida immediately instructed relevant officials to thoroughly monitor the situation. He strongly urged North Korea to halt its launch and warned that Japan will strongly respond to any provocations in cooperation with South Korea and the U.S.

Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director-General Namazu Hiroyuki discussed the matter with his counterparts in South Korea and the U.S. through phone calls.

A rocket carrying the satellite into space is based on the same technology as an intercontinental ballistic missile, making the launch a grave violation of UN sanctions.
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