North Korea launches space rocket, alert in region

North Korea yesterday launched a satellite aboard a space rocket, as reported by the South Korean army, forcing alerts to be activated in Seoul and in the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa, where the projectile would have flown over, urging the possible evacuation of citizens .

“Launched what North Korea claims is a space rocket in a north-south direction,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) warned in a brief statement at around 6:32 p.m. local time on Wednesday (21:32 GMT on Tuesday) at the time that The Seoul Metropolitan Government activated an alert that was sent to phones and broadcast over the public address system in the streets urging citizens to “prepare for evacuation.”

A few minutes later, at 6:39 a.m. local time, the authorities of the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa (southwest of the country) also issued a message via mobile phone and public address system indicating that a projectile “had apparently been launched from North Korea” in the direction to that region, and recommended “evacuate inside a building or in underground facilities”.

WITHDRAWAL OF ALERT

The Japanese authorities withdrew the alert within twenty minutes after considering that there was no risk of an impact on national territory, while the Seoul metropolitan government also indicated later that it was lifting the alert.

The JCS indicated shortly after that the projectile was launched from “the Dongchang-ri area, North Pyongan province (northeast of the country)”, where the Sohae space launch base is located, at around 06:29 yesterday and that it has flown over the Yellow Sea (called the West Sea in both Koreas) without incident.

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Pionyang had confirmed the day before that it would launch a space rocket loaded with a military reconnaissance satellite from Sohae in the coming days.

Putting a military reconnaissance satellite into orbit is one of the weapons modernization objectives that the regime proposed at its 2021 congress and that it considers essential to monitor the movements of US and South Korean troops.

Seoul and Tokyo, which have called emergency meetings, have denounced that the launch – as would have happened with previous North Korean satellite launches – would actually be a covert test to test ballistic missile technology, something that is punishable by UN sanctions. that weigh on Pyongyang

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