Seoul— North Korea announced Wednesday that it had successfully launched a spy satellite into orbit with its third launch attempt this year, demonstrating the nation’s determination to build a space surveillance system amid tensions with USA.
North Korea’s claim could not be independently confirmed at this time. But it will surely provoke strong condemnation from the United States and its partners, because the United Nations (UN) prohibits North Korea from launching satellites, saying it uses them as a cover for testing missile technology.
The North’s space authorities said in a statement that its space launch vehicle put the Malligyong-1 satellite into orbit on Tuesday night, after taking off from the country’s main launch center and carrying out a planned flight.
Leader Kim Jong Un observed the launch, the statement said, adding that the satellite would enhance North Korea’s war preparedness in response to hostile military moves by its rivals and that more would be launched at a later date.
South Korea and Japan They previously said they detected the North Korean rocket launch. The Japanese government briefly issued a J-Alert missile warning for Okinawa, urging residents to take shelter inside buildings or underground. South Korea’s military forces affirmed that they maintain their preparation in close coordination with the United States and Japan.
“Even if North Korea calls it a satellite, a launch using ballistic missile technology would be a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.”declared the Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida. “It is also a serious threat that affects the security of the population.”
A spy satellite is one of the key military assets coveted by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who wants to modernize his weapons systems to deal with what he sees as an escalation of American threats. North Korea attempted to launch a spy satellite twice earlier this year, but both launches failed due to technical problems.
North Korea had promised a third launch in October, but did not do so and has not given a reason. South Korean officials have said the delay likely occurred because North Korea was receiving Russian technological help for its spy satellite launch program.