SEOUL (News21USA) – North Korea is in the final stages of preparations to launch a spy satellite and the chances of the third attempt being successful are high, the Yonhap news agency reported on Wednesday, citing the intelligence service. from South Korea.
North Korea has also sent more than 10 shipments of ammunition to Russia for use in the war against Ukraine, including more than one million artillery shells, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) cited.
This is approximately the ammunition supply Russia spends on its war with Ukraine in two months, parliamentary committee member Yoo Sang-bum was quoted as saying.
The NIS made the report at a closed-door session of parliament’s intelligence committee, local media reported, citing a committee member who was present.
North Korea has made two attempts to launch its first reconnaissance satellite this year that ended in failure because booster stages experienced failures.
The launch is part of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s push to bolster his military capabilities, which also include long-range ballistic missiles, ballistic missile submarines and hypersonic missiles.
North Korea had previously promised to make a third attempt in October, but has so far given no signs that it would go ahead with the launch.
Kim met Russian President Vladimir Putin in September in the Russian Far East, where he toured Russia’s modern space launch station, fueling speculation that Moscow would help with its space program in exchange for conventional weapons supplies.
South Korea, Japan and the United States condemned North Korea’s supply of weapons and military equipment to Russia, presenting what they said was evidence confirming deliveries of such shipments.
“North Korea is also seen as trying to use the war between Israel and Hamas in a multifaceted way,” Yoo said after the spy agency briefing. “There have been indications of Kim Jong Un’s order to look for ways to comprehensively support the Palestinians,” added Yoo, who could not immediately be reached for comment.
North Korea has denied that it was supplying weapons to Russia and has also dismissed reports by some military experts that its weapons were being used by Hamas militants in the fight against Israel.
The spy agency also said North Korea sent a delegation made up primarily of artillery experts to Russia in mid-October, according to media reports.