The spy satellite duel between the two Koreas – the final hour

The spy satellite duel between the two Koreas – the final hour

A SpaceX rocket has launched South Korea’s first military spy satellite, escalating the space race on the Korean peninsula after Pyongyang launched its first military probe last week.

The Seoul reconnaissance satellite, carried by one of Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets, took off from the US space base in Vandenberg, California, at 10.19 am local time (7.19 pm Italy time). “It’s a beautiful launch day, and Falcon Nine has successfully lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base,” a SpaceX announcer said during a live broadcast. The word “Korea” was written on the missile.

If successfully placed into orbit, South Korea will have its first domestically built spy satellite to monitor nuclear-armed North Korea. Seoul plans to launch four more spy satellites by the end of 2025 to enhance its reconnaissance capacity in the North. Yonhap News Agency reported that the Seoul satellite, which is located in an orbit between 400 and 600 kilometers from Earth, can detect an object up to 30 cm in size.

The launch comes less than two weeks after Pyongyang successfully placed its spy satellite into orbit, which it said would provide images of key military sites in the United States and South Korea, in addition to images of the Italian capital, Rome. However, it has yet to reveal any of the satellite images it claims to have. North Korea’s launch of the Malyjeong-1 satellite was Pyongyang’s third attempt to put such a satellite into orbit, after two failures in May and August. Seoul said that North Korea would receive technical assistance from Moscow in exchange for supplying it with weapons for use in Russia’s war with Ukraine.

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In addition, North Korea has threatened to shoot down US spy satellites in response to “any attack” on its part. North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said Pyongyang said such an operation would be considered a “declaration of war.” This statement comes after an American official explained that Washington has “different means.”
“Reversible and irreversible” in order to “deprive the adversary of its space and counter capabilities.”

There was no explicit mention of North Korea, but the reference to Pyinjiang was quite clear. “If the United States attempts to violate the legitimate territory of a sovereign state,” Pyongyang “will consider taking self-defense measures to weaken it,” he added.
Or destroy the usefulness of American spy satellites.”

Reproduction © Copyright ANSA

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