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N.Korea intends to launch satellite between Thursday & Aug 31: Report

N.Korea intends to launch satellite between Thursday & Aug 31: Report
Photo Credit : IANS

Seoul: North Korea has notified Japan of its plan to launch a satellite between Thursday and August 31, as the country seeks to put a spy satellite into orbit following its failure in May, a media report said on Tuesday.

The North informed Japan’s coast guard of its plan to designate three maritime danger zones — two of which are west of the Korean Peninsula and the other is to the east of the Philippines’ island of Luzon, Yonhap News Agency quoted the report by Japan’s Kyodo News.

“The plan is believed to be a retry of a military reconnaissance satellite launch North Korea attempted in May, but that ended in failure,” it added.

The North launched its first military spy satellite, the Malligyong-1, mounted on a new type of rocket named the Chollima-1, on May 31.

But the rocket crashed into the Yellow Sea after an “abnormal starting” of the second-stage engine, according to the North’s state media.

North Korea has also given prior notice to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) over its satellite launch plan, according to an official at South Korea’s Unification Ministry.

South Korea’s intelligence agency told lawmakers last week that Pyongyang could launch a reconnaissance satellite in late August or early September, ahead of the 75th anniversary of the regime’s founding on September 9.

The launch window overlaps the annual Ulchi Freedom Shield (UFS) exercise between South Korea and the US that began its 11-day run on Monday.

The North has long denounced Seoul-Washington joint military drills as a rehearsal for an invasion.

A military spy satellite is among the high-tech weapons that the North has vowed to develop, along with solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missiles and a nuclear-powered submarine.

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