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S. Korea warns N. Korea to 'immediately stop' preparations for military spy satellite launch

Nov. 20, 2023 - 09:32 By Yonhap
This photo on June 1, shows the launch of the North's new Chollima-1 rocket, allegedly carrying a military reconnaissance satellite, Malligyong-1, from Tongchang-ri on the North's west coast at 6:29 a.m. the previous day. (KCNA)

The South Korean military warned North Korea on Monday to "immediately stop" preparations for another military spy satellite launch, vowing to take "necessary measures" if it presses ahead with the launch.

Kang Ho-pil, chief director of operations at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the warning, a day after South Korea's defense chief said Pyongyang may make another satellite launch attempt as early as "this week or so."

"(We) sternly warn North Korea to immediately stop the 'military reconnaissance satellite' launch, of which preparations are under way," Kang said. "If North Korea goes ahead with the military spy satellite launch despite our warning, our military will come up with necessary measures to protect the lives and safety of our people."

He did not elaborate on what he meant by necessary measures.

North Korea made two botched attempts to put a reconnaissance satellite into orbit in May and August, respectively.

North Korea is banned from any use of ballistic missile technology under U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions.

On Sunday, Defense Minister Shin Won-sik said the North's launch could take place before South Korea launches its first indigenous reconnaissance satellite on Nov. 30 in an interview with a local broadcaster. (Yonhap)