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N. Korea appears to be struggling to secure parts for spy satellite: presidential office

By Yonhap

Published : May 29, 2024 - 19:45

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Balloons presumably sent by North Korea are discovered in a field in Yongin, south of Seoul, on May 29, 2024, in this photo provided by a resident. (Yonhap) Balloons presumably sent by North Korea are discovered in a field in Yongin, south of Seoul, on May 29, 2024, in this photo provided by a resident. (Yonhap)

North Korea's botched attempt to launch a military spy satellite was likely due to its difficulties in procuring related parts and developing technology because of ongoing sanctions, a presidential official said Wednesday.

North Korea made a failed attempt to launch a space rocket carrying a reconnaissance satellite hours after leaders of South Korea, Japan and China met in Seoul on Monday for a summit, the first since December 2019. The North denounced Seoul's reaffirming a commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula as a "serious infringement" upon its sovereign right.

"North Korea launched the military spy satellite somewhat forcibly shortly after the Korea-Japan-China summit," the presidential official told reporters.

"What is clear is that the continuous and unwavering sanctions regime of the international community, including the United Nations, is proving effective against North Korea's illegal nuclear and missile activities," he added.

The official emphasized the importance of maintaining the U.N. Security Council sanctions to make it harder for the Pyongyang regime to secure necessary parts to operate or upgrade the nuclear and missile programs.

"It is essential to maintain unwavering international coordination," the official said.

In regard to North Korea's sending more than 200 balloons carrying waste and trash into South Korea, the presidential office evaluated the move as being aimed at testing the South Korean government.

"North Korea appears to have wanted to test whether our people and government will be agitated or respond to their balloons and how such psychological warfare or small-scale hybrid threats will work, aside from direct provocations," the official said. "We will respond calmly."