North Korea to Launch Satellite Rocket Amid Regional Tensions

North Korea to Launch Satellite Rocket Amid Regional Tensions
North Korea to Launch Satellite Rocket Amid Regional Tensions/Reuters
North Korea to Launch Satellite Rocket Amid Regional Tensions
North Korea to Launch Satellite Rocket Amid Regional Tensions/Reuters

North Korea to Launch Satellite Rocket Amid Regional Tensions

North Korea to Launch Satellite Rocket Amid Regional Tensions

North Korea to Launch Satellite Rocket Amid Regional Tensions

Key Highlights:

  1. North Korea plans to launch a satellite-carrying rocket before June 4.
  2. Japan, South Korea, and China urge North Korea to cancel the launch.
  3. The trilateral summit emphasized regional stability and denuclearization.

North Korea has notified Japan of its intention to launch a satellite-carrying rocket before June 4, according to Japan’s coastguard as reported by Kyodo news agency. This announcement coincides with a trilateral meeting in Seoul involving leaders from South Korea, China, and Japan—the first such summit in over four years.

During a joint press conference with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and China’s Premier Li Qiang, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida highlighted the importance of North Korean denuclearization, stating that the stability of the Korean Peninsula is a shared interest among the three countries.

North Korea informed Japan about the satellite launch, specifying three “danger zones” where rocket debris might fall—two west of the Korean Peninsula and one east of the Philippines’ island of Luzon. At the summit, Kishida urged North Korea to cancel the launch, with Yoon warning it would jeopardize regional and global peace and stability. Chinese Premier Li called for resolving North Korean issues through dialogue.

Officials from Japan, the United States, and South Korea, in phone talks, reaffirmed their stance that any launch using ballistic missile technology violates UN Security Council resolutions. The Japanese Foreign Ministry stressed this point, urging North Korea to cancel its plans.

A senior South Korean presidential official indicated the imminent launch of North Korea’s military reconnaissance satellite using intercontinental ballistic missile technology. The official noted the potential for additional missile provocations, emphasizing the need for strong military readiness during and after the summit.

North Korea previously announced in November that it had placed its first military spy satellite into orbit and planned to launch three more spy satellites this year. Meanwhile, South Korea successfully launched its second indigenous spy satellite on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in April, part of a plan to acquire five spy satellites by 2025 to enhance monitoring of North Korea.

In May, South Korea reported that North Korea fired a ballistic missile towards the sea off its east coast. Additionally, North Korea conducted a tactical drill simulating a nuclear counterattack in April, guided by leader Kim Jong-un.

(Inputs from Reuters)

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