Pyongyang previously said it had completed the launch of its first spy satellite, but Tokyo says the launch could be a ballistic missile.
North Korea has notified Japan of plans to launch a ‘satellite’ that could be a ballistic missile between May 31 and June 11, a Japanese coast guard official said.
North Korea has conducted a series of missile and weapons tests in recent months, including a new solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
Japanese officials believe the missile involved a missile, according to a tweet from the Prime Minister’s Office, indicating that it was a “ballistic missile.” [Pyongyang] Describes as a satellite.
Pyongyang has informed Japan’s coast guard that a rocket will be launched between May 31 and June 11, affecting the Yellow Sea, East China Sea and waters east of the Philippine island of Luzon, a coast guard spokesman told AFP news agency.
The Japanese Prime Minister’s Office urged North Korea to refrain from launching and said it would work closely with allies.
“We strongly urge North Korea to refrain from launching,” the Prime Minister’s Office said on Twitter, adding that it would cooperate with “relevant countries such as the United States and South Korea.”
It said the Japanese government would do its best to collect and analyze information from the launch.
North Korea announced in April that it had completed work on its first spy satellite. Earlier this month, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspected a military satellite facility and approved a “future action plan.” Such a launch would use long-range missile technology banned under United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Analysts say the spy satellite is part of nuclear-armed North Korea’s efforts to improve its surveillance technology, including drones, and improve its ability to strike targets in the event of a conflict.
North Korean media have previously criticized plans by South Korea, the US and Japan to share real-time data on Pyongyang’s missile launches, describing the three as discussing “wicked measures” to tighten military cooperation.