Gulf Today

S.korea to launch second spy military satellite


SEOUL: South Korea will launch its second domestical­ly made military spy satellite in the United States next week, Seoul’s defence ministry confirmed on Friday, in its latest move to beter counter nuclear-armed North Korea.

The announceme­nt comes ater Seoul in December confirmed the successful launch of its first military spy satellite, which was carried by one of Elon Musk’s Spacex Falcon 9 rockets.

The latest developmen­ts intensify a space race on the Korean peninsula ater the North launched its own first military eye in the sky in November last year.

Local reports saying the launch is scheduled on April 7 in the US are “correct”, a spokespers­on for Seoul’s defence ministry told AFP on Friday, adding more details will be shared next week.

Seoul’s second spy satellite is set to lit off from the John F. Kennedy Space centre in Florida, also on Spacex’s Falcon 9 rocket.

Its first satellite has transmited high-resolution images of central Pyongyang to the authoritie­s in Seoul and is expected to commence its full mission stages as early as June, according to Seoul’s Yonhap news agency.

Seoul plans to launch a total of five spy military satellites by 2025 to beter monitor the North.

Once all five satellites enter orbit and commence their mission, the South Korean military will have the capability to monitor key facilities in North Korea using imagery sent around every two hours, according to a report by Seoul’s government-run broadcaste­r KTV.

North Korea, meanwhile, has claimed its spy satellite in orbit has sent images of a US naval base at Pearl harbour in Hawaii and “major target” sites across South Korea.

The North’s successful launch of the “Malligyong-1” was Pyongyang’s third atempt at puting such a satellite in orbit, ater two failures in May and August last year.

Seoul has said the North received technical help from Moscow for the launch, in return for supplying weapons for use in Russia’s war with Ukraine.

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