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South Korea suspends no-fly zone near border after purported North Korea spy satellite launch

South Korea approved suspending a military agreement with North Korea that created a no-fly zone near the demilitarized border after Pyongyang claimed its first successful launch of a spy satellite Tuesday.

South Korea’s parliament voted to suspend the 2018 military reduction agreement, which will allow Seoul to restore surveillance activities at the demilitarized border with North Korea, according to local news agencies.

The agreement had created a no-fly zone at the border along with the removal of some guard posts and a ban on aerial reconnaissance and live-fire exercises.


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South Korea’s move follows North Korea’s spy satellite launch, called the Malligyong-1, which was fired atop a ballistic missile Tuesday night local time.

After two previous failed attempts in May and August, the claimed success sparked concerns, with both the U.S. and Japan condemning the launch for destabilizing the region.

North Korea has accelerated its nuclear and missile capabilities in the last few years but until this week had not yet deployed any major capabilities in space.

Over the summer, North Korea began providing artillery shells to Russia to support Moscow in its war against Ukraine.

Part of that agreement may have been a deal to help North Korea acquire the technology needed to build out its space ambitions as leader Kim Jong Un traveled to Russia’s space facilities this summer.

North Korea’s national space agency said the space launch was justified because the U.S. and its allies have already militarized space.

South Korea’s deputy minister of national defense policy, Heo Tae-keun, said in a televised briefing that North Korea’s launch was a “grave provocation that threatens our national security.”

The Associated Press contributed.

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