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N. Korean satellite launch would violate UN sanctions: State Dept.

May 30, 2023 - 09:23 By Yonhap
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un smiles contently after watching a ground test of a "high-thrust solid-fuel motor" at Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in Cholsan, North Pyongan Province, North Korea, on Dec. 15, 2022. (KCNA)

WASHINGTON -- Any satellite launch by North Korea would violate United Nations Security Council resolutions that prohibit long-range missile tests by Pyongyang, a state department spokesperson said Monday in a prebuttal of the North's planned satellite launch.

North Korea has notified the Japanese government of its plan to launch a space launch vehicle between May 31 and June 11, according to earlier reports.

"Any DPRK launch that uses ballistic missile technology, which would include SLVs used to launch a satellite into space, violates multiple UN Security Council resolutions," a state department spokesperson told Yonhap News Agency when asked about the North's proposed satellite launch.

"Space launch vehicles incorporate technologies that are identical to, and interchangeable with, those used in ballistic missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles," added the spokesperson.

DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.

The proposed satellite launch follows an unprecedented number of long-range missile tests by North Korea.

Pyongyang fired 69 ballistic missiles in 2022, setting a new record for ballistic missiles launched in a single year.

"We urge the DPRK to refrain from further unlawful activity and call on Pyongyang to engage in serious and sustained diplomacy," the state department spokesperson said.

The spokesperson declined to comment when asked if the US would take any steps to hold North Korea accountable for Pyongyang's anticipated satellite launch.

The top nuclear envoys of South Korea, the US and Japan warned on Monday that there will be a "stern, unified" response from the international community if the North goes ahead with its satellite launch. (Yonhap)