SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea mentioned Monday it plans to launch its first domestically constructed spy satellite tv for pc on the finish of this month to raised monitor rival North Korea, because the North pushes to broaden its arsenal of nuclear weapons focusing on its adversaries.
The plan was unveiled days after North Korea didn’t observe via on its vow to make a 3rd try to launch its personal reconnaissance satellite tv for pc in October, possible due to technical points.
Jeon Ha Gyu, a spokesperson for the South Korean Protection Ministry, advised reporters Monday that the nation’s first army spy satellite tv for pc shall be launched from California’s Vandenberg Air Pressure Base on Nov. 30.
The satellite tv for pc shall be carried by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. Beneath a contract with SpaceX, South Korea plans to launch 4 extra spy satellites by 2025, based on South Korea’s Protection Acquisition Program Administration.
South Korea presently has no army reconnaissance satellites of its personal and depends on U.S. spy satellites to observe strikes by North Korea.
The possession of its personal spy satellites would give South Korea an unbiased space-based surveillance system to observe North Korea in nearly near-time. When operated along with South Korea’s so-called three-axis system — preemptive strike, missile protection and retaliatory belongings — the nation’s total protection in opposition to North Korea could be sharply strengthened, based on Lee Choon Geun, an honorary analysis fellow at South Korea’s Science and Expertise Coverage Institute.
Lee mentioned that U.S. spy satellites produce a lot higher-resolution imagery however they’re operated beneath U.S. strategic targets, not South Korea’s. He mentioned the united statesalso generally doesn’t share satellite tv for pc images with extremely delicate data with South Korea.
Final 12 months, South Korea used a homegrown rocket to put what it referred to as a “efficiency statement satellite tv for pc” in orbit, turning into the world’s tenth nation to efficiently launch a satellite tv for pc with its personal expertise.
However Lee mentioned it’s rather more economical to make use of a SpaceX rocket to fireside a spy satellite tv for pc from the Vandenberg base. Different observers say a SpaceX rocket could be extra dependable to hold the South Korean spy satellite tv for pc, which is heavier than the satellite tv for pc launched in 2022.
North Korea can be keen to amass its personal spy satellite tv for pc. However its two launch makes an attempt earlier this 12 months led to failure for technical causes. The nation mentioned it will make a 3rd try someday in October, however it didn’t achieve this and its state media has not offered a purpose.
South Korea’s spy company advised lawmakers final week that North Korea is probably going receiving Russian technological help on a spy satellite tv for pc launch program. The Nationwide Intelligence Service mentioned North Korea was within the remaining section of preparations for its third launch, which the NIS mentioned would possible achieve success.
South Korea, the U.S. and different overseas governments imagine North Korea is searching for refined weapons applied sciences from Russia to modernize its nucler and different weapons applications in return for supplying ammunition, rockets and different army gear to assist Russia’s struggle in Ukraine.
The possession of spy satellites is a part of bold arms build-up plans introduced by chief Kim Jong Un in 2021. Kim mentioned North Korea additionally wants extra cell intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear-powered submarines, hypersonic weapons and multi-warhead missiles to deal with intensifying U.S. army threats.
After the North’s first, failed launch in Might, South Korea retrieved particles from the North’s satellite tv for pc and concluded it was too crude to carry out army reconnaissance. Lee mentioned the North Korean satellite tv for pc would nonetheless be able to figuring out massive targets like warships so it may very well be militarily helpful for North Korea.