North Korea has notified Japan’s Coast Guard that it intends to launch a satellite in the coming days, Japanese media reported Tuesday.
The planned launch between August 24 and 31 is believed to be a retry of a military reconnaissance satellite launch that North Korea attempted in May, but which ended in failure, according to the Kyodo news agency.
In May, North Korea attempted to put what it described as its first military reconnaissance satellite in orbit, but the rocket carrying it plunged into the sea minutes after launch.
North Korea said it had developed the spy satellite as a necessary counterbalance to the growing US military presence in the region.
The United States, South Korea, and Japan condemned North Korea’s satellite launch in May as a violation of United Nations resolutions prohibiting the nuclear-armed state from using ballistic missile technology.
Analysts have said there is significant technological overlap between the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles and space launch capabilities.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made the development of a military spy satellite a top priority.
South Korea’s spy agency told lawmakers last week that Pyongyang could launch a reconnaissance satellite in late August or early September, the Yonhap news agency reported.
The launch is meant to happen ahead of the 75th anniversary of the regime’s founding on Sept. 9, according to Yonhap.
The crash of the satellite in May sparked a complex, 36-day South Korean salvage operation involving a fleet of naval rescue ships, mine sweepers and deep-sea divers.
The retrieved parts of the rocket and the satellite were analysed by experts in South Korea and the United States.
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