(MENAFN- Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) TOKYO, Nov 20 (KUNA) -- The South Korean military warned North Korea on Monday to "immediately stop" preparations for another military spy satellite launch, vowing to take "necessary measures" if it presses ahead with the launch, Yonhap News Agency reported.
Lt. Gen. Kang Ho-pil, chief director of operations at the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), made the warning, a day after South Korea's Defense Minister Shin Won-sik said Pyongyang may make another satellite launch attempt as early as "this week or so."
"(We) sternly warn North Korea to immediately stop the 'military reconnaissance satellite' launch, of which preparations are under way," Kang said. "If North Korea goes ahead with the military reconnaissance satellite launch despite our warning, our military will come up with necessary measures to protect the lives and safety of our people."
On Sunday, defense chief Shin said the North's launch could take place before South Korea launches its first homegrown reconnaissance satellite on Nov 30, North Korea made two botched attempts to put a reconnaissance satellite into orbit in May and August, respectively.
The South's warning came amid concerns over North Korea receiving technology and support for its weapons program from Russia after the rare summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin in September. Shin said that the North is believed to have "almost resolved" its engine problems "with Russia's help." The North blamed the two failed launches this year on technical issues, such as the "abnormal" startup of the second-stage engine in its first attempt in late May. (end)
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