Analysts have found that North Korea, which failed to launch the first military reconnaissance satellite on the 31st of last month, has detected movements that appear to be preparing for a relaunch. Also, on the 1st, the day after the failed launch, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s younger sister Kim Yeo-jeong, vice minister of the Workers’ Party of Korea, declared that “a military reconnaissance satellite will enter space orbit in the near future,” raising the possibility that North Korea will launch a second launch in the near future. The South Korean and U.S. authorities are also closely monitoring the related movements of the Seohae satellite launch site in Dongchang-ri, Cheolsan-gun, Pyongbuk Province, using satellites and other means.
NK News, a U.S. media specializing in North Korea, said on the 1st (local time) that as a result of commercial satellite analysis, “busy movements were detected even around the existing launch pad in the days leading up to the launch of North Korea’s reconnaissance satellite.” A structure with rails was placed alongside the launch tower.” It is said that around the launch of the space launch vehicle (Chollima 1) equipped with a reconnaissance satellite (Malligyeong 1) from the new launch pad at the satellite launch site, active trends were also detected on the existing launch pad. The existing launch pad and the new launch pad are separated by about 3 km.
NK News analyzed, “All of these were signs that past launches were imminent.” “North Korea’s vessel navigation warning is valid until dawn on the 11th, but for this warning to be effective, the same type of launch must be attempted,” he said. This means that the possibility that North Korea will forcefully launch the reconnaissance satellite during the launch notice period (0:00 on May 31 to 0:00 on June 11) notified to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) cannot be ruled out.
In addition, “The Korean Central News Agency announced that the launch failed due to a problem with the second stage engine (propellant) and that there would be additional tests,” said NK News. forecasted Regarding this, Cho Gwang-rae, former head of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, said, “If North Korea attempts a second launch in a short period of time, using a new launch pad rather than the existing launch pad will shorten the preparation period.” There is also the possibility of conducting a combustion test of .
In the midst of this, on the 3rd (local time), the defense ministers of Korea, the U.S., and Japan will hold talks at the Asian Security Conference (Shangri-La Dialogue) held in Singapore. The defense chiefs of Korea, the U.S., and Japan are putting their heads together on the third day of North Korea’s satellite launch. Defense Minister Lee Jong-seop, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada will discuss responses to North Korean satellite launches and real-time sharing of North Korean missile warning information. A military official said, “The three ministers will define the ‘space launch vehicle’ that North Korea failed to launch as, in effect, a long-range ballistic missile and strongly condemn it for violating UN Security Council resolutions.”
In addition, the summit is expected to reaffirm firm cooperation on North Korea’s nuclear and missile provocations, including the re-launch of satellites. In particular, it is known that a plan to establish a real-time sharing system for North Korean missile warning information will be discussed in detail. As the heads of Korea, the U.S., and Japan pledged to strengthen security cooperation at the G7 summit in Hiroshima last month, related work is likely to speed up in earnest with the trilateral defense ministers meeting as an opportunity.
Following the ROK-US-Japan talks, Minister Lee will hold a meeting with Chinese Defense Minister Li Sangfu and South Korean and Chinese defense ministers. Minister Lee is expected to urge Li to play a constructive role on the Chinese side to halt North Korea’s nuclear and missile provocations. However, while China shifts responsibility for escalating tensions in the region to the United States, there is a possibility that it will take issue with cooperation between the United States and South Korea, the United States, and Japan based on the United States’ Indo-Pacific strategy.
A bilateral meeting between the defense ministers of Korea and Japan will also be held on the 4th. It has been 3 years and 6 months since November 2019. At this meeting, it is of interest whether the ministers of the two countries will comment on the ‘patrol plane conflict’, which has been an obstacle to defense exchanges between Korea and Japan. “Various security issues will be discussed for future-oriented development of South Korea-Japan relations,” the military said.
Yoon Sang-ho, military reporter [email protected]
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.