N. Korea preparing for satellite launch, but no imminent signs yet: JCS

North Korea appears to be making preparations for its next launch of a spy satellite, although there are no signs of an imminent launch, South Korea's military said Monday. Last November, Pyongyang successfully placed its first military spy satellite into orbit and vowed to launch three more spy satellites this year. "While North Korea's activities preparing for an additional military satellite launch have been consistently detected, there are no imminent signs of a launch," Col. Lee Sung-jun, spokesperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a regular press briefing. "It is hard to predict the timing, but we are closely monitoring such activities," Lee added. Defense Minister Shin Won-sik said earlier there was a high possibility the North could stage the satellite launch this month if it completes improvement of the satellite's performance. Seoul officials have speculated the North may have made progress in its space program with technological assistance from Russia following the rare summit betw een North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin in September. South Korea placed its second military reconnaissance satellite into space on April 8 under a plan to acquire five military spy satellites by 2025 to better monitor North Korea. It first launched a spy satellite last December. Source: Yonhap News Agency