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S. Korea, U.S. closely monitoring N. Korea's movements for spy satellite launch: Seoul official

14:03 May 30, 2023

SEOUL, May 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korean and U.S. intelligence authorities were closely monitoring North Korea for activities related to its planned launch of a military spy satellite, a South Korean military official said Tuesday.

Han Sung-keun, a spokesperson for Seoul's Joint Chief of Staff, made the remarks hours after North Korea's state media reported that Pyongyang will launch the satellite in June.

"The intelligence authorities of South Korea and the United States are closely watching for related movements in close coordination," Han told reporters in a regular briefing. "We are tracking and monitoring various possibilities of provocation, including North Korea's claim of a so-called satellite (launch)."

When asked about the satellite's possible capabilities and possibly shooting down the rocket it will be mounted on, Han declined to comment, citing that he couldn't discuss information related to military operations.

Earlier in the day, the North's official Korean Central News Agency carried a statement by Ri Pyong-chol, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Worker's Party, which called the North's satellite reconnaissance an "indispensable" act to bolster its self-defense capabilities against the enemies' "reckless" military exercises.

North Korea's National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA) conducts "an "important final-stage test" at Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in Cholsan, North Pyongan Province, for the development of a reconnaissance satellite on Dec. 18, 2022, in this file photo released by the North's Korean Central News Agency. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)


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