North Korea may be preparing to launch military satellite, South Korea says

close Kim Jong Un oversees North Korean nuclear arsenal Video

Kim Jong Un oversees North Korean nuclear arsenal

Korth Korean leader Kim Jong Un views a simulated nuclear counter attack drill. (Credit: Associated Press)

  • South Korea's military said it detected signs of possible preparations for a satellite launch in North Korea.
  • North Korea launched its first spy satellite last year, prompting sanctions from the U.S. and its allies.
  • North Korea denounced Washington's reaction to its satellite launch as a "double standard" after South Korea launched its second spy satellite from the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

South Korea's military said on Friday it had detected signs in North Korea of possible preparations for a satellite launch in what would be the nuclear-armed North's effort to place a second military reconnaissance craft in orbit.

South Korea and U.S. intelligence authorities are closely monitoring North Korea's activities, a South Korean military official said.

The activities were spotted at Dongchang-ri, a northwestern area of the country where North Korea's main space flight center is based, the official said without elaborating.

NORTH KOREA TEST-FIRES SUSPECTED MISSILES AFTER US AND SOUTH KOREA CONDUCT FIGHTER JET DRILL

North Korea launched its first spy satellite last year and claimed leader Kim Jong Un reviewed photos taken of the White House and the Pentagon, among other areas of the world. State media have not released any photos taken by the craft, however.

A North Korean flag flutters on top of the 160-metre tall tower at North Korea's propaganda village of Gijungdong, in this picture taken from Tae Sung freedom village near the Military Demarcation Line (MDL), inside the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas, in Paju, South Korea.

South Korea's military said it detected signs that North Korea may be preparing to launch another satellite into orbit. (Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo)

The launch was met with sanctions from the U.S. and its allies and prompted Seoul to suspend part of a military agreement it signed with Pyongyang in 2018.

Pyongyang scrapped the pact in response and restored previously demolished guard houses near the border.

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The reclusive state also vowed to launch three more satellites this year.

Earlier this year, South Korea launched its second homegrown spy satellite on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida amid a space race with the North.

Pyongyang has defended its satellite launch as part of its right to self-defense and denounced Washington's reaction as a "double standard" over South Korea's launch of its own.

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