Although North Korea has formally notified Japan of its plans to launch a satellite between next Wednesday and December 1, the Japanese government said this happened ahead of schedule.
The South Korean military announced that “North Korea has launched a reconnaissance satellite towards the south”, this happened after the activation of the missile alert in Okinawa (southern Japan) and the local population was advised to evacuate.
The launch of the spy satellite rocket means that navigation will be limited in areas where the remains could fall, and navigation will be extended until December 1.
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Japan’s national anti-missile alert system J-Alert was activated at 10:46 a.m. local time (1:46 p.m. GMT) on Wednesday, sending a message to residents of Okinawa Prefecture warning of the “apparent launch of a missile from North Korea ” and it was recommended to “evacuate within a building or underground,” according to state broadcaster NHK.
This warning was also issued over the public address system in the city of Naha (on the island of Okinawa, the main island of this archipelago in southwestern Japan), and the warning was withdrawn about ten minutes later after Japanese authorities believed that the missile North Korea had flown over its territory and therefore did not understand the risks.
The Japanese Coast Guard had said on Wednesday that North Korea had announced a launch window between November 22 and December 1 to launch its first military reconnaissance satellite from the Sohae base (northwest of the country).
Pyongyang tried to put its spy satellite, the Malligyong-1, into orbit in May and August, but both attempts failed due to problems with the Chollima-1 space rocket and the regime announced it would try again in October, although they have not achieved that goal, possibly because Moscow is providing assistance.
Seoul and Washington consider it proven that North Korea recently delivered millions of artillery shells to Russia for use in Ukraine and believe that Pyongyang may receive technological support and advice in return for this new launch. (JO)
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