Seoul States North Korea Receives Russia's Assistance in Launching Spy Satellite

Thursday, 23 November 2023

South Korea has claimed that North Korea received assistance from Russia to successfully launch a reconnaissance satellite this week.

As reported by Reuters with reference to Yoo Sang-bum, Tuesday's spy satellite launch was North Korea's third attempt after two failed launches and the first since its leader Kim Jong Un visited Russia in September. During that visit, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to help Pyongyang build satellites.

A member of the ruling South Korean People Power Party and a member of the parliamentary intelligence committee, Yoo Sang-bum, said that after the talks between the leaders, North Korea sent data on the launch vehicles used in two previous satellite launches, and Russia offered to analyse the information.

"Regarding the success of the third launch, the National Intelligence Service assessed that there was assistance from Russia," Yoo told reporters, citing Putin's publicly stated pledge to help with the North's launch vehicle, and the exchange of data between Pyongyang and Moscow.

Another member of the committee, Youn Kun-young, said the launch was successful as the satellite entered orbit and that North Korea could launch more satellites and conduct a nuclear test next year.

The latest launch drew condemnation from the United States and other Western countries, and South Korea suspended part of its military pact with North Korea concluded in 2018.

Russia and North Korea denied arms trade, but had promised to intensify military cooperation.

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