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TOKYO, February 2. /TASS/. North Korea (DPRK) has notified the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) of the plans to launch an Earth observation satellite, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, no exact date and time of the possible launch have been given.
According to Kyodo, North Korea has notified the ITU of the future launch of an Earth observation satellite, an ITU source told Kyodo. North Korean Posts and Telecommunications Minister Kim Kwang Chol informed the Geneva-based ITU via diplomatic channels that the satellite will be of the Kwangmyongsong (Bright Star) type and have a four-year operational life. No clues as to the timing of the launch were provided, but sources at the London-based International Maritime Organization said the IMO was informed by North Korea that an earth observation satellite launch would be conducted between February 8 and 25.
In December 2012, North Korea launched a long-range rocket that it said successfully placed an earth observation satellite into orbit. The move was then widely regarded as a violation of UN resolutions that ban Pyongyang from conducting any launch using ballistic missile technology.
North Korea is apparently preparing for a long-range ballistic missile launch, according to satellite imagery analyses that emerged as the UN Security Council was discussing a resolution against Pyongyang in response to its fourth nuclear test on January 6.
The ITU is seeking more information from North Korean authorities in order to record the satellite's frequency assignments in the ITU Master International Frequency Register, the international directory for satellites, Kyodo reported. The satellite will be in the non-geostationary orbit and transmit data in ultra-high frequency and videos in band X, according to the source.
DPRK authorities announced on January 6 that North Korea successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. Pyongyang in the recent past has carried out three nuclear tests - in 2006, 2009 and 2013. In this regard, the UN Security Council, as well as the United States, Japan and South Korea on a bilateral basis imposed various sanctions on Pyongyang. After that the DPRK carried out no nuclear tests for two years until January 2016, launching only ballistic missiles in response to large-scale military exercises conducted jointly by South Korea and the United States.
South Korea, the United States and Japan are currently engaged in active diplomatic efforts seeking, according to representatives of these countries, a tough UN Security Council resolution providing for sanctions on North Korea.