Source: Google Photos
South Korea Halts Military Agreement with North Korea

South Korea took action to pause a part of an agreement made with North Korea in 2018. This decision came after North Korea ignored warnings from the US and its allies by successfully launching a spy satellite. The North claimed it was its first satellite and pledged to send more into orbit soon.

Pictures released by North Korean media showed their leader, Kim Jong Un, watching the rocket launch. However, officials from South Korea and Japan couldn’t confirm if a satellite was actually in space. The US military was still checking if the launch was a success.

In response, South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo led a meeting and announced plans to suspend a part of the deal made to ease tensions between the two Koreas. The agreement, called the Comprehensive Military Agreement, aimed to reduce friction and included measures like stopping certain drills and maintaining communication hotlines.

Critics have questioned this agreement, saying it limits South Korea’s ability to monitor North Korea along the border. The recent move by South Korea’s National Security Council involves reinstating surveillance near the border.

North Korea’s KCNA news agency reported the launch of the Malligyong-1 satellite using a Chollima-1 rocket. However, this launch violated UN resolutions, according to the US National Security Council. It also heightened tensions in the region.

This launch is the first after Kim Jong Un met Russia’s president in September, where Russia promised assistance in building satellites. Some experts believe this recent launch might have received technical help from Russia, though it’s not clear yet.

South Korea is set to send its first spy satellite soon, using a rocket by the US company SpaceX. After a failed launch earlier, South Korea recovered the satellite wreckage but found it had limited use for spying.

Japan issued warnings to its residents to take shelter during the launch, although later reports confirmed the rocket’s trajectory moved over Okinawa and towards the Pacific Ocean. The emergency warning was lifted afterward.

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