Following two unsuccessful attempts earlier this year, North Korea has stated that it intends to launch a spy satellite as early as Wednesday.
Japan and South Korea issued maritime warnings for ships in the Yellow and East China seas after North Korea formally informed Japan that the launch would occur sometime before December 2.
Japan is one of North Korea’s main adversaries, but it also coordinates the International Maritime Organization, which is in charge of regulating the waters beneath the satellite launch path.
Fumio Kishida, the prime minister of Japan, immediately denounced the rocket program and the plan, which North Korea views as its sovereign right.
Using ballistic missile technology is against several United Nations Security Council resolutions, Kishida told reporters on Tuesday, even if the goal is to launch a satellite. Additionally, it has a significant impact on national security.
The USS Carl Vinson, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, will join the militaries of Japan and South Korea at the country’s naval base in Busan, where both countries will be on high alert prior to the launch.
The three nations will “strongly urge” Pyongyang to reschedule the launch, according to Kishida.
The impending satellite launch, which South Korea claimed would also violate a 2018 agreement intended to de-escalate tensions, has been the subject of warnings for weeks.
Kang Ho-pil, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff’s chief director of operations, issued a stern warning to North Korea on Monday ordering the current military spy satellite launch preparations to be immediately suspended.
“Our military will take the necessary precautions to ensure the lives and safety of the people if North Korea launches a military reconnaissance satellite despite our warning.”
It’s unlikely that the satellite launch will be a success.
At least two “observation” satellites have been successfully launched by North Korea in the past, but both of those attempts this year have failed.
According to South Korean officials, the satellite had “no meaningful use” for reconnaissance, according to recent launch wreckage.
However, Pyongyang may have received assistance from Russia this time after the country’s eastern Vostochny Cosmodrome hosted President Vladimir Putin for a once-in-a-lifetime visit by leader Kim Jong Un.
At the time, analysts speculated that Kim might have agreed to help with the satellite program in exchange for some of his nation’s ammunition, which was desperately needed for the Russian war effort in Ukraine.
Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, places a high priority on developing cutting-edge weapons and modernizing the nation’s military.
In order to improve the region’s military capabilities, he hopes to one day have a fleet of satellites to track the movements of US and South Korean troops.