The South Korean government has decided to partially suspend the military agreement with the DPRK. Seoul intends to resume reconnaissance flights in the border zone between the two countries, South Korea’s defense ministry said.
The Republic of Korea is doing so in response to the launch of a spy satellite announced by Pyongyang on Tuesday. UN Secretary-General António Gutteres strongly condemned the DPRK’s move after the United States or Japan. “Any launch in which the DPRK uses ballistic missile technology is a violation of Security Council resolutions,” added UN chief spokesman Farhan Haq.
According to Reuters, the US sent a nuclear-powered submarine, the SNN Santa Fe, to the area.
The launch of a rocket carrying a spy satellite was reported by the North Korean news agency KCNA, according to which the leader of the DPRK, Kim Jong-un, watched it. The agency added that the country intends to launch more satellites in the near future. Previous North Korean efforts to send a satellite into Earth orbit have failed. Sources from other countries have not yet officially confirmed the launch of the satellite.
However, the United States, Japan and South Korea condemned the move, saying it was a gross violation of UN Security Council resolutions. South Korean Prime Minister Han Duk-so announced after today’s emergency cabinet meeting that the country will partially suspend the military agreement with the northern neighbor from 2018. Its aim was to prevent possible incidents between the armed forces of the two countries and to create a buffer zone at the border.