SEOUL: South Korea is set to intensify its surveillance capabilities with the launch of two additional military spy satellites this year, aiming to enhance monitoring of North Korea. The Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) revealed plans to deploy two synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites via a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, scheduled for launch in April and November from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
This move follows the recent launch of an electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) satellite in December, with South Korea aiming to deploy four more SAR satellites by 2025. The use of SAR technology allows data collection regardless of weather conditions, providing a valuable tool for space-based intelligence in the face of North Korea’s increasing missile and nuclear threats.
The combination of EO/IR and SAR satellites is expected to facilitate rapid detection of early warning signs related to potential North Korean nuclear or missile activities. This development comes in response to North Korea’s announcement of its intention to launch three additional spy satellites in the same timeframe.
In November, North Korea successfully placed its first spy satellite into orbit, marking a significant advancement despite two earlier failed attempts. The North claims that the satellite has captured images of major military sites in South Korea and the United States.