North Korea says it will launch spy satellite despite warnings

North Korea told Japan that it will launch a satellite in the coming days, despite warnings from South Korea’s military to stop its planned launch.

North Korea is eager to operate spy satellites in an effort to deal with what it says is increased U.S.-led military threats, The Associated Press reported.

The country’s two previous attempts to send a spy satellite into orbit this year have failed due to technical issues. It vowed to conduct a third attempt in October, but South Korean officials said there was a delay.

South Korea suggested it could suspend an agreement to reduce tensions and resume its front-line aerial surveillance if North Korea launches a satellite. A senior South Korean military officer said the country will “come up with necessary measures” to protect their people.

Japan’s coast guard said North Korea notified the country of its plan to launch a satellite between Wednesday and Nov. 30, according to the AP.

The notice identified areas where debris from the rocket carrying the satellite may fall, including the waters between the Korean Peninsula and China and in the Philippine Sea, the Japanese coast guard said.

North Korea gave Japan the flight path information because the country’s coast guard coordinates maritime safety information in East Asia. The notification comes one day after the warning from South Korea.

The U.N. Security Council has banned North Korea from launching satellites because it views them as a disguised test of missile technology.

South Korean officials said the initial delay was likely because North Korea is receiving technology assistance from Russia. In September, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin met to talk about increasing transfers of weapons and technology, as Russia looks for allies in its war on Ukraine.

According to a South Korean official, North Korea launching a satellite would effectively break the 2018 inter-Korean agreement, which created buffer and no-fly zones along the border between North Korea and South Korea.

The Associated Press contributed.

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