North Korea Notifies Japan Of Upcoming Satellite Launch Amid Trilateral Summit

North Korea has informed Japan of its intention to launch a satellite by early next week, a move widely seen as an attempt to place its second military spy satellite into orbit. The notification comes as the leaders of South Korea, Japan, and China convene in Seoul for their first trilateral meeting on Monday.

According to the Japan Coast Guard, North Korea provided launch information due to the agency’s role in coordinating and distributing maritime safety information in East Asia. The launch is expected to take place between Monday and June 3, with safety cautions issued for waters between the Korean Peninsula, China, and east of the Philippine island of Luzon.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has instructed officials to collaborate with the United States, South Korea, and other nations to strongly urge North Korea to abandon its launch plans. The government is also preparing to take necessary measures in case of any contingencies.

South Korea’s military had previously detected signs of North Korea engaging in activities believed to be preparations for a spy satellite launch at its main Tongchangri launch facility.

The launch would violate U.N. resolutions, which prohibit North Korea from conducting any satellite launches due to their perceived connection to testing long-range missile technology.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has expressed his intention to launch three additional military spy satellites in 2024, following the country’s first successful military reconnaissance satellite launch in November 2023. The move is part of North Korea’s efforts to establish a space-based surveillance network to monitor what it perceives as military threats from the United States and South Korea.