SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Tuesday made an apparent third attempt to place a military spy satellite into orbit, South Korea's military said, demonstrating its determination to build a space-based surveillance system during protracted tensions with the United States.
It wasn't immediately known whether the launch was successful. But it is certain to invite strong condemnation from the United States and its partners because the U.N. bans North Korea from conducting satellite launches, calling them covers for tests of missile technology.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected the launch of what North Korea has described as a military spy satellite from the North's main space center in the northwest on Tuesday night. Japan said it also spotted a North Korean launch.
According to South Korean and Japanese assessments, a North Korean rocket carrying the purported spy satellite flew above international waters off the Korean Peninsula's west coast and then over the Japanese island of Okinawa toward the Pacific Ocean.
The Japanese prime minister's office briefly issued a J-Alert missile warning for Okinawa, urging residents to take shelter inside buildings or underground. South Korea's military said it maintains its readiness in close coordination with the United States and Japan.
“Even if North Korea calls it a satellite, the firing that uses ballistic missile technology is a clear violation to related…