SEOUL, South Korea >> North Korea told Japan that it will make a third attempt to launch a military spy satellite later this month, Japanese media reported Tuesday.
Kyodo News, citing Japan’s coast guard, said that North Korea notified Tokyo of its plan to launch the spy satellite sometime between Nov. 20 and Nov. 30.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told officials to try to talk Pyongyang into scrapping the plan in cooperation with the United States and South Korea, the Kyodo report said.
In North Korea’s two previous attempts earlier this year, the rockets carrying the satellites failed during the launch due to technical reasons.
North Korea had vowed a third launch would take place sometime in October, but failed to follow through with the plan without giving any reason.
North Korea says it needs a spy satellite to deal with what it calls increasing U.S.-led military threats. South Korea retrieved debris from the first launch and called the satellite too crude to perform military reconnaissance.
The U.N. Security Council bans any satellite launches by North Korea because it views them as a disguised test of its missile technology. South Korean officials said that while North Korea needs a spy satellite to improve its monitoring of South Korea, the launch is also aimed at bolstering its long-range missile program.