South Korea to launch first military surveillance satellite in 2023
Seoul, Feb 17 (EFE).- South Korea is set to launch its first military surveillance satellite in November 2023 in order to improve its ability to spy on the North, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said on Friday.
In a briefing to the National Assembly’s defense committee, DAPA revealed that it is looking to launch an electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) satellite before the end of 2023, news agency Yonhap reported.
The launch is part of a program worth 1.2 trillion won ($927 million), under which South Korea aims to have five military surveillance satellites in orbit by 2025 in order to be less dependent on surveillance resources from other countries, especially in the context of North Korea.
The other four devices in the program are synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites.
Seoul is seeking to establish its first satellite network aimed exclusively at military espionage, given that it currently obtains North Korean images using devices from the Korean Multi-Purpose Satellite (KOMPSAT) series, prone to malfunction.
South Korea intends to accelerate the program’s development considering North Korea’s 2022 announcement, in which it expressed the desire to launch a military surveillance satellite “at the earliest possible date.” EFE