KOREA NEWS S. Korean military to launch 130 intelligence satellites to...

S. Korean military to launch 130 intelligence satellites to keep N. Korea in check

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The South Korean military and intelligence authorities reportedly plan to put up to 130 reconnaissance satellites targeting North Korea into a low Earth orbit of 500 kilometers by the early 2030s. The military will test-fire solid-fuel space rockets, which are being independently developed, by 2025. It expects to carry out a successful launch test and place multiple small and micro-sized satellites into a low Earth orbit via solid-fuel rockets.

Based on The Dong-A Ilbo’s reports on Wednesday, the South Korean military and intelligence authorities intend to build a recon space network to monitor North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats in real time by the early 2030s.

The military announced on Tuesday that it will launch 40 micro-sized satellites weighing less than 100 kilograms by 2030, according to the 2024-2028 Mid-term Defense Program. Additionally, it will deploy multiple small and micro-sized satellites in cooperation with intelligence agencies to monitor North Korea’s military activities. “If solid-fuel rockets, an independently developed program by the military, make it in the final test, South Korea will be able to launch small and micro-sized satellites independently,” said a military source. “A solid-fuel rocket is capable of carrying three to five micro-sized satellites which will allow a real-time monitoring of major targets such as nuclear and missile bases and any signs of provocation.”

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com

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