Ynetnews reports: South Korean defense officials told the Yonhap news agency that Seoul is debating whether or not to lease the Israeli Ofek 11 spy satellite to monitor the actions of the North Korean military. They are debating between using the Israeli satellite or a satellite from another country.
The South Koreans primarily use American satellites, and officials believe that a locally produced satellite will only be ready in 2023. The South Korean official said that “(South Korea) is really far behind on its timetable in its goal of launching five spy satellites between 2021 and 2022. The satellites are part of a plan to create a “firing line” which will be able to deal with the threat of North Korean missiles.”
South Korea is interested in using the Israeli satellite because of the satellite’s somewhat peculiar, circumnavigating orbit. Israel and South Korea are on similar latitudinal lines – between 30 and 40 degrees north of the equator.
Additionally, the United States announced that it detected a ballistic missile launch from North Korea in the early morning hours of Thursday morning. South Korean sources reported that the launch failed.
The North Korean Air Defense and Combat Command reported that the missile was a mid-range ballistic missile which doesn’t have the range to threaten the United States.
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