Home World News South Korea Launches Second Military Spy Satellite Amid Growing Animosities With North

South Korea Launches Second Military Spy Satellite Amid Growing Animosities With North

South Korean president
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol. Source: X

Tensions within the Korean peninsula have increased as South Korea has launched its second military spy satellite in space. The defence ministry has said that the indigenous spy satellite was launched from the Kennedy Space Center on Monday.

“With the success of the second military spy satellite launch, our military has acquired an additional independent surveillance ability and further bolstered our ‘kill chain’ capability,” South Korean defense ministry spokesperson Jeon Ha Gyu told reporters, referring to the military’s pre-emptive missile strike capability. According to a contract with Space X, South Korea is expected to launch five military satellites by 2025.

The launch has come after North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency stated that it would launch multiple reconnaissance satellites this year.  The country launched its first space satellite last November. According to Yonhap news agency, North Korea has previously vowed to launch three new spy satellites in 2024.

The Falcon 9 rocket was launched at 2317 GMT on Sunday evening local time, which is Monday in Seoul. The satellite successfully separated from the launch vehicle 45 minutes later and entered its targeted orbit, the ministry said in a statement. It made successful communications with a ground station about two hours and 40 minutes after the launch, the South Korean ministry added. It said that the second spy satellite is equipped with a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) capable of producing images regardless of weather conditions due to how it processes data.

North Korea has so far not commented on South Korea’s satellite launch.

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Over the past few months, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has upped the ante against South Korea with moves aimed at flaunting its military might including doing more missile tests, tearing down a monument in Pyongyang that symbolised the hopes of unification among others.

On the anniversary of the founding of North Korea’s military on February 8, he had said that North Korea had the legal right to annihilate South Korea. He has also ruled out dialogue or negotiations with South Korea as said last peace in the region will only come when North Korea becomes a military powerhouse.

The South Korean government led by Yoon Suk Yeol believes that the Communist state would try to raise its profile ahead of elections which are due in April this year.

Yoon’s conservative People Power Party, which backs military cooperation with the US and a tough stance towards the North, is trying to win against the opposition Democratic Party. Various experts are of the view that Kim is trying to push Seoul out of the way and force direct negotiations with Washington.