North Korea is reportedly preparing to launch a satellite equipped with surveillance and communication technology. Nevertheless, outside observers have said that the upcoming launch may be a camouflaged ballistic missile test and not part of the Pyongyang space program.

North Korean launch

North Korean launch Photo Credit: EPA-EFE

North Korea is preparing a satellite launch, according to various reports in South Korean news outlets. However, international observers are warning that the dictatorship’s space program may be a ruse intended to camouflage additional intercontinental ballistic missile tests.

The South Korean Joongang Ilbo daily newspaper quoted a South Korean government source who reported that Pyongyang completed a new satellite and named it Kwangmyongsong-5. According to the report, the official said the North plans to equip the satellite with surveillance and communication technology.

A spokesman of the South Korean military Joint Chiefs of Staff stressed that nothing appears to be out order at the moment but said Seoul is watching out for any aggressive acts on the part of its northern neighbor, including launches of ICBMs disguised as satellites. In February 2016, North Korea allegedly launched a satellite dubbed Kwangmyongsong-4. However, it was estimated to be an ICBM test by experts.

As previously reported by JOL, the North Korean foreign minister said on Sunday that the regime will continue to develop its nuclear program “for self-defense purposes” to protect itself from “hostile” acts by the US.  The minister also said that the UN Security Council resolution to impose further sanctions on North Korea is “a declaration of war.”