Kyodo reports North Korea’s notification to Japan of possible satellite launch on Wednesday

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North Korea has defied warnings from South Korea and the UN by issuing a formal notice of a satellite launch as early as Wednesday. The Japanese Prime Minister has instructed government agencies to prepare for the potential launch, despite South Korea’s warning to Pyongyang to halt preparations. The UN has repeatedly called on North Korea to cease its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and South Korea has accused Pyongyang of exchanging arms for Russian space technology. North Korea’s successful launch of a spy satellite would significantly enhance its intelligence-gathering capabilities and increase its military advantage. Despite international warnings, North Korea has conducted numerous weapons tests this year, including ground tests of a “new type” of solid-fuel engine for its banned ballistic missiles.

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