North Korea has notified Japan of its plan to launch a satellite between May 31 and June 11, a Japanese media report said Monday, as the secretive regime is preparing to put its first military spy satellite into orbit.
The North notified the Japanese government of its plan to establish a maritime danger zone during the cited period, Japan's Kyodo News reported.
North Korea also informed the International Maritime Organization of its plan for the satellite launch, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK.
North Korea has announced the completion of preparations to mount its first military spy satellite on a rocket, raising speculation that the North may launch it as early as June.
The North's leader, Kim Jong-un, has recently inspected a non-permanent committee responsible for preparing for the launch of a military reconnaissance satellite and approved of its "future action plan."
The North's proposed satellite launch would violate a series of United Nations Security Council resolutions banning its nuclear and missile programs, as it uses the same technology used in ballistic missiles.
Washington reaffirmed its position that satellite launches by North Korea, including the plan notified to Japan, are in violation of multiple United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, while calling for Pyongyang to refrain from further illegal activities and return to diplomacy.
A state department spokesperson told Yonhap News Agency that any launch by the North that utilizes ballistic missile technology, including those related to the use of space launch vehicles (SLVs), constitutes violations of multiple UNSC resolutions.
The spokesperson stressed that SLVs encompass technology that is interchangeable with or similar to that used in ballistic missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Source: Yonhap News Agency