North Korea Launches Military Spy Satellite

( – North Korea launched a satellite using a ballistic rocket on November 21st, according to Japanese and South Korean officials. The launch marked their third attempt to put a surveillance satellite into orbit.

Japanese officials put out an emergency warning for civilians in the southern part of Japan to take cover in the event the launch was something other than a satellite. Japan pushed a notification over their J-Alert system indicating North Korea fired a missile and warned residents of Okinawa to take cover. North Korea previously informed Japan it would be launching a satellite sometime before December 1st.

North Korea claimed the launch was a success and that the satellite was successfully installed in orbit, sources at the Pentagon said they couldn’t yet confirm whether or not the satellite was in a stable orbit.

North Korea has been seeking spy satellites and advanced reconnaissance abilities for years now. The flight path followed the same launch trajectory as the previous two failed attempts. They maintain they require surveillance satellites to defend themselves from American aggression.

South Korean and Japanese officials had pressured Pyongyang to cancel the launch. South Korea said they’re suspending a 2018 agreement with the North which was aimed at reducing tensions between the states by ending live-fire drills and aerial surveillance along the border as a consequence of the launch.

The U.N. Security Council has previously passed resolutions prohibiting satellite launches by the North Koreans as the technology can be used to develop long-range nuclear missiles. North Korea has already performed over 100 missile tests in its attempt to acquire long-range weapons that could hit the U.S. or other nations.

U.S., Japanese, and South Korean officials all urged North Korea to cancel the launch, suggesting it was “an illegal provocation,” according to South Korea’s Foreign Ministry.

South Korean officials also surmise that the North is getting aid from Russian scientists in exchange for conventional weapons to be used in its war against Ukraine. Russian authorities have suggested the claims were preposterous.

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