TOKYO: North Korea has notified Japan of its plan to launch a rocket carrying a space satellite between Nov. 22 and Dec. 1 in the direction of the Yellow Sea and East China Sea, Japan’s Coast Guard said on Tuesday.
If carried out, it would mark a third attempt by the nuclear-armed state this year to put a spy satellite into orbit.
Two previous attempts to place what would be North Korea’s first spy satellite into orbit failed, and after the last attempt in August, North Korea’s scientists had promised to try again in October.
The launch would be the first since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made a rare trip abroad in September and toured Russia’s most modern space launch centre, where President Vladimir Putin promised to help Pyongyang build satellites.
Pyongyang has been seeking to place a military spy satellite into orbit, saying it plans a fleet of satellites to monitor moves by U.S. and South Korean troops.
North Korea launched a satellite on May 31 that ended up plunging into the sea. The new Chollima-1 launcher failed because of instability in the engine and fuel system, state news agency KCNA reported.
The country sought to accomplish the mission on August 24 but failed again after the rocket booster experienced a problem with its third stage.