North Korea has notified Japan that it plans to launch its self-developed military satellite between November 22 and December 1, the Japanese Coast Guard reported on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the American aircraft carrier Carl Vinson arrived off the coast of South Korea.
North Korea plans to launch a missile carrying a military spy satellite towards the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea. Pyongyang originally planned its third launch attempt for October, following failed attempts in May and August.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kisida immediately condemned the announcement and assured everyone that Japan’s defense system is ready for any unexpected situation. Both Seoul and Washington have warned Pyongyang that UN Security Council resolutions prohibit the launch of any ballistic missiles.
Seoul will take all necessary measures if North Korea continues with its plans to launch the missile, said Lt. Gen. Kang Hopil, director of operations for South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Meanwhile, months of joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea entered a new phase; on Tuesday, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Carl Vinson arrived at the Pusan naval base.
“The arrival of US Carrier Strike Group 1 demonstrates the strength of the South Korean-US alliance’s joint defense posture and determination to respond to North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threats,” said Rear Admiral Kim Ji-hoon, South Korea’s naval chief. director of its operations center.
The Carl Vinson is the third U.S. ship of its type to visit South Korea this year, following the Nimitz’s visit in March and the Ronald Reagan’s visit in October.