SoKor plans to launch 1st military spy satellite

FILE - Flags of North Korea, rear, and South Korea, front, flutter in the wind as pictured from the border area between two Koreas in Paju, South Korea, on Aug. 9, 2021. South Korea said Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, it plans to launch its first domestically built spy satellite at the end of this month as part of its efforts to better monitor rival North Korea and deter its potential aggressions.
FILE - Flags of North Korea, rear, and South Korea, front, flutter in the wind as pictured from the border area between two Koreas in Paju, South Korea, on Aug. 9, 2021. South Korea said Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, it plans to launch its first domestically built spy satellite at the end of this month as part of its efforts to better monitor rival North Korea and deter its potential aggressions.(Im Byung-shik/Yonhap via AP, File)

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea said Monday it plans to launch its first domestically built spy satellite at the end of this month to better monitor rival North Korea, as the North pushes to expand its arsenal of nuclear weapons targeting its adversaries.

The plan was unveiled days after North Korea failed to follow through on its vow to make a third attempt to launch its own reconnaissance satellite in October, likely because of technical issues.

Jeon Ha Gyu, a spokesperson for the South Korean Defense Ministry, told reporters Monday that the country’s first military spy satellite will be launched from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base on Nov. 30.

The satellite will be carried by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. Under a contract with SpaceX, South Korea plans to launch four more spy satellites by 2025, according to South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration.

South Korea currently has no military reconnaissance satellites of its own and relies on U.S. spy satellites to monitor moves by North Korea.

The possession of its own spy satellites would give South Korea an independent space-based surveillance system to monitor North Korea in almost near-time. When operated together with South Korea’s so-called three-axis system — preemptive strike, missile defense and retaliatory assets — the country’s overall defense against North Korea would be sharply strengthened, according to Lee Choon Geun, an honorary research fellow at South Korea’s Science and Technology Policy Institute.

Lee said that U.S. spy satellites produce much higher-resolution imagery but they are operated under U.S. strategic objectives, not South Korea’s.

He said the U.S. also sometimes doesn’t share satellite photos with highly sensitive information with South Korea.

Last year, South Korea used a homegrown rocket to place what it called a “performance observation satellite” in orbit, becoming the world’s 10th nation to successfully launch a satellite with its own technology.

Trending

No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.
www.sunstar.com.ph