North Korea informs neighboring Japan that it plans to launch a satellite in the coming days

Tokyo (AFP) – North Korea has informed neighboring Japan that it plans to launch a satellite in the coming days, which could be an attempt to put Pyongyang’s first military reconnaissance satellite into orbit.

The Japan Coast Guard said the notice it received from North Korean waterway authorities said the launch window was from May 31 to June 11 and that the launch could affect waters in the Yellow Sea, East China Sea and east of Luzon Island in the Philippines.

The Japan Coast Guard issued a safety warning to ships that will pass through the area during the launch window. The Japanese Coast Guard coordinates and distributes maritime safety information in East Asia, which is probably why North Korea received its notice.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s office said it had instructed officials to do their best to gather and analyze information related to the launch and report it to the public.

Earlier this month, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un previewed a completed military spy satellite at the country’s aerospace center and approved an unspecified future action plan upon its launch.

North Korea’s previous launches have demonstrated its ability to send a satellite into space, but there are questions about the satellite’s capacity. Analysts say the device shown in state media looked too small and was crudely designed to support high-resolution images.

Launching a satellite into space would use long-range missile technology banned by previous UN Security Council resolutions. The United Nations viewed North Korea’s previous launches of Earth observation satellites as a convincing test of long-range missile technology because ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles often share similar fuselages, engines and other components.

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Hyung Jin Kim reported from Seoul, South Korea.

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