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North Korea launches what it claims to be spy satellite southward: JCS

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简介This photo, provided by South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, shows the wreckage of North Korea's "Ch...

This photo, provided by South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, shows the wreckage of North Korea's "Chollima-1" rocket, which South Korea retrieved from the West Sea on the night of June 14. Joint Press Corps

North Korea launched what it claims to be a military spy satellite southward Tuesday, the South Korean military said, following two failed attempts earlier this year.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said it detected the launch from the Tongchang-ri area on the North's northwest coast at around 10:43 p.m. and the satellite flew over waters west of the border island of Baengyeong.

The JCS gave no further details, including whether the three-stage rocket carrying the satellite separated successfully and whether the satellite was put into orbit.

Tuesday's launch came hours before the beginning of a 10-day launch window that the North had given Japan earlier as a safety warning, saying it would fire a satellite-carrying space rocket sometime between Wednesday and Dec. 1.

N. Korea says it successfully placed spy satellite into orbit, will launch moreN. Korea says it successfully placed spy satellite into orbit, will launch more 2023-11-22 02:54  |  North Korea N. Korea's 3rd spy satellite launch attempt imminent N. Korea's 3rd spy satellite launch attempt imminent 2023-11-21 16:44  |  North Korea

The latest launch came 89 days after the North's second attempt to put a satellite into orbit failed due to an engine problem on Aug. 24. The first attempt failed on May 31 due to a failure in the second stage rocket.

South Korea has warned North Korea not to proceed with another launch, which would violate U.N. Security Council resolutions that ban Pyongyang's use of ballistic missile technology.

Earlier in the day, the presidential office suggested that a 2018 inter-Korean military tension reduction agreement could be suspended in the event North Korea goes ahead with its planned space rocket launch.

The agreement calls for setting up buffer zones and no-fly zones near the inter-Korean border to ban artillery firing, naval drills and surveillance activities to prevent clashes between the two Koreas.

Seoul and Washington have expressed concerns over Pyongyang's preparations for a spy satellite launch with technological assistance from Russia following a rare summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin in September.

A military spy satellite is among the high-tech weapons that the North has vowed to develop to enhance its surveillance capability, which also include solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missiles and a nuclear-powered submarine.

Tuesday's launch came hours after the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier arrived at a naval base in the southeastern city of Busan. (Yonhap)

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