South Korea’s military warned North Korea on Monday to stop the planned launch of its spy satellite.
South Korea suggested it could suspend a deal aimed at reducing tensions and resume its front-line aerial surveillance, the Associated Press reported.
North Korea failed in its first two attempts to send a spy satellite into space and has pledged to make a third in October. But South Korean officials said there was a delay and now warn a launch could happen soon.
“Our military will take necessary measures to protect people’s lives and safety if North Korea continues to launch a military spy satellite despite our warning,” said senior South Korean military officer Kang Hopil, in a televised statement. .
The UN Security Council has banned North Korea from launching satellites because it considers them a disguised test of its missile technology. Kang said North Korea was launching the satellite to improve its surveillance of South Korea and advance its long-range missile program.
According to the AP, South Korean Defense Minister Shin Wonsik said in an interview that a launch was expected later this month.
South Korean officials said the launch delay was likely because North Korea receives technological assistance from Russia.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in September to discuss a deal to increase arms and technology transfers, as Russia seeks allies in its war against Ukraine. North Korea is reportedly seeking Russian technology and expertise to bolster its nuclear and other military capabilities.
Kang said a satellite launch would effectively break the inter-Korean agreement and accused North Korea of having already broken the agreement – which created buffer and no-fly zones along Korea’s border North and South Korea.
“Despite the North’s repeated violations of the agreement, our military has patiently abided by the terms of the military agreement, but this has caused considerable problems in our military’s preparation,” Kang said.
The Associated Press contributed.
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