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South Korea launches its second spy satellite

South Korea announced Monday having placedé a second military spy satellite in orbit, in a context of intensifying the race for space with its North Korean neighbor.

This satellite, manufactured on its territory and carried on a Space Defense in a press release.

“Our army's second reconnaissance satellite successfully separated from the launch vehicle around 09:02 (00:02 GMT) and entered the target orbit,” he said.

It “successfully established contact with an overseas ground station at approximately 10:57 (0157 GMT),” it added.

According to the South Korean military, the country's “independent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities have been strengthened” by the successful launch. It now intends to “carry out new launches”.

In December, South Korea confirmed the successful launch of its first military spy satellite, also carried by a Falcon 9 rocket from Space X, Elon Musk's company, which took off from the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Seoul's defense minister said he was closely monitoring possible satellite launches by North Korea, which were initially planned for March.

– Launching April 15? –

“It appears they are making additional arrangements” , Defense Minister Shin Won-sik said on Monday, considering a launch on April 15 by Pyongyang likely.

South Korea launches its second spy satellite

Photo released by the South Korean Defense Ministry on April 8, 2024, shows South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-sik (c) watching live footage of the launch of South Korea's second rocket-borne spy satellite SpaceX Falcon 9 at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida © South Korean Ministry of Defense – Handout

This date marks the birth anniversary of North Korea's founding leader, Kim Il Sung, and is usually celebrated with major weapons tests or military parades.

North Korea announced in November last year that it had launched its first spy satellite.

Seoul's first satellite transmitted high-resolution images to the authorities from central Pyongyang and its main mission is expected to begin in June, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

South Korea intends to launch a total of five spy devices by 2025, to better monitor the North.

Once the satellites enter orbit and begin their mission, the South Korean army will be able to spy on key infrastructure in North Korea , approximately every two hours, detailed the public channel KTV.

For its part, North Korea claimed that its own satellite was in orbit and that it had sent images of the American base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as well as “major targets” in South Korea.

Pyongyang managed to send its “Malligyong-1” device into space after two failures in May and August 2023.

According to Seoul, the North received aid from Russia in exchange for arms shipments for Moscow's war in Ukraine.

Experts believe that this successful operation will allow North Korean intelligence to improve the collection of information on South Korea in particular, and to have access to crucial data on any conflict.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116