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In response to North Korea’s claim of a successful spy satellite launch, South Korea has decided to suspend a key military agreement with its northern neighbor.

The 2018 military reduction agreement, which established a no-fly zone near the demilitarized border, was put on hold following a vote by the South Korean parliament. This suspension paves the way for Seoul to recommence surveillance activities along the border, overturning previous restrictions, including removing specific guard posts, bans on aerial surveillance, and prohibitions on live-fire exercises.

The decision comes after North Korea announced the launch of its spy satellite, the Malligyong-1, which was sent into space atop a ballistic missile. This event marks North Korea’s first significant advancement in space capabilities, following two unsuccessful attempts earlier in the year. The launch has raised the alarm in the international community, with both the United States and Japan denouncing it as destabilizing the region.

Further complicating matters is North Korea’s involvement in providing artillery shells to Russia amidst the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. This collaboration is speculated to be part of a broader agreement where Russia may have assisted North Korea in achieving its space technology goals, as evidenced by Kim Jong Un’s visit to Russian space facilities.

In reaction to these developments, South Korea’s deputy minister of national defense policy, Heo Tae-keun, labeled North Korea’s satellite launch as a severe provocation that jeopardized South Korea’s national security.

The launch has been defended by North Korea’s national space agency, citing the militarization of space by the US and its allies as justification.


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