North Korea notifies IMO of 1st military spy satellite launch plan

    WORLD  30 May 2023 - 16:45

    North Korea notified the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on May 30 of its plan to launch its first military spy satellite between May 31 and June 11, an IMO official said, in yet another indication that it would press ahead with it in defiance of international criticism and warnings.

    The North Korea made the notification through an email to an official in charge of maritime safety at the IMO headquarters in London, according to the official who requested anonymity.

    It marks the North's first such notification to the IMO since 2016, Yonhap reports.

    The previous day, the North apprised Japan of the launch plan, a move that triggered a warning by South Korean, US and Japanese nuclear envoys that the recalcitrant regime will face a "stern, unified" response from the international community should the plan go ahead.

    Earlier in the day, Ri Pyong-chol, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, made it official that the launch will take place in June.

    In a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency, Ri said the North's satellite-based reconnaissance is an "indispensable" act to bolster its self-defense capabilities against its enemies' "reckless" military exercises.

    The North's spy satellite to be launched in June and various reconnaissance means to be newly tested are "indispensable to tracking, monitoring, discriminating, controlling and coping with in advance in real time the dangerous military acts" of the US and South Korea, Ri said in the English-language statement.

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