North Korea’s Development Of Long-Range Missile Technology Continues: Tells U.N. Agencies It’s Planning Satellite Launch This Month

North Korea continues to disregard sanctions placed by United Nations for its nuclear and missile programs.

According to Reuters, the secretive state has informed U.N. agencies that it has plans to launch a satellite into orbit later this month, which is believed to advance the country’s on-going development of long-range missile technology.

The news comes a week after United States officials assessed a January 6 nuclear test by the isolated country, which North Korea claimed was a successful detonation of a hydrogen bomb. U.S. officials identified that test as one that failed as a fully functional device, but may have very well been components of an H-bomb that were tested.

It was the fourth nuclear test that Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital city, conducted that was in defiance of U.N. sanctions and has forced countries such as the United States and South Korea to urge stricter sanctions upon the Northern state.

“We have received information from DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] regarding the launch of earth observation satellite ‘Kwangmyongsong’ between 8-25 February,” a spokeswoman for the International Maritime Organization, a U.N. agency, told Reuters by email late on Tuesday.

The Reuters report also suggests that North Korea has displayed two types of ballistic missiles that carry the capability of reaching the U.S. West Coast, but evidence that proves these missiles have been tested fails to exist.

North Korea claims it has a sovereign right to pursue a space program, despite launching rockets that violate U.N sanctions and are seen as threats to other countries who fear such launches are missile tests disguised as a space program experiment.

A United Nations agency that specializes in information and communication called The International Telecommunication Union, which allocates global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, informed Reuters that North Korea informed it of its plans to launch a satellite Tuesday with a functional duration of four years in a non-geostationary orbit.

The agency also mentioned that the information provided by North Korea was incomplete, and that it was seeking further information before it formally published the county’s notification.

Pyongyang last conducted a long-range rocket launch in December, 2012, successfully putting into orbit an object the capital city claimed was a communications satellite with the three-stage Unha-3 carrier, but the United States, U.N., and other countries condemned it as an illegitimate attempt to develop long-range missile technology.

As stated by the Inquisitr last week, many experts in South Korea have claimed that North Korea’s continued military provocations are part of a bigger objective, considering them “carefully calculated moves, with tangible objectives.”

Kim Han-kwon, a professor at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy, informed South Korea’s YTN news network that, “North Korea appears to be intent on driving a wedge between the United States and China.” and that a new long-range missile test would seduce the international community to push for stronger sanctions against the Northern state, forcing China — fearing the North’s political collapse — to fend for its treaty ally.

“From North Korea’s perspective, a schism between China and the U.S. is the ideal situation,” Kim said. “Because of the strategic interests at stake, China will be forced to further embrace North Korea.”

United States Secretary of State John Kerry described North Korea’s growing nuclear capability and missile technology as a, “threat the United States must take extremely seriously.” while also urging Chinese leaders in Beijing last week to put a seal on North Korea’s military ambitions.

[Photo by Iranian Defense Ministry/AP Photos]