North Korea could launch its first military spy satellite “in the near future,’’ National Security Adviser Cho Tae-yong said Tuesday, amid growing speculation over the timing of the launch.
Cho made the remark during an interview with Yonhap News TV, warning the North would be met with stronger sanctions if it goes ahead.
“North Korean State Affairs Commission Chairman Kim Jong-un announced it will come by the end of April, but he isn’t keeping his promise,” Cho said.
Cho cited various possible problems in the file photo, National Security Adviser Cho Tae-yong spoke to reporters at the presidential office in Seoul.
“There’s a chance of a launch in the near future. In such an event, there will be efforts on our part and it will result in deepening North Korea’s diplomatic isolation in the international community,” he said.
Kim visited a preparatory committee for the satellite launch last week and approved its future action plan, according to the North’s Korean Central News Agency, signalling the launch could be imminent.
Cho said Seoul would respond by pressing the international community to strictly enforce sanctions on North Korea, while also imposing additional standalone sanctions together with like-minded nations.
“What’s important is making clear whether North Korea launches a reconnaissance satellite or carries out a nuclear test.
“It will no longer be able to boast its presence to the international community or gain any practical economic benefits,’’ he said. (Yonhap/NAN)