TOKYO, May 30 (KUNA) -- South Korean and US intelligence authorities were closely monitoring North Korea for activities related to its planned launch of a military spy satellite, Yonhap News Agency reported Tuesday, citing Seoul's military.
"The intelligence authorities of South Korea and the US are closely watching for related movements in close coordination," Joint Chief of Staff spokesman Han Sung-Keun Han told a press conference in Seoul.
Han made remarks hours after North Korea's state media reported that Pyongyang would launch the satellite in June.
"We are tracking and monitoring various possibilities of provocation, including North Korea's claim of a so-called satellite (launch)," the spokesman said.
When asked about the satellite's possible capabilities and possibly shooting down the rocket it will be mounted on, Han declined to comment, citing that he could not discuss information related to military operations.
Earlier in the day, Pyongyang disclosed the timing of its planned launch through the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), one day after it notified Japan of its plan to launch a satellite between May 31 and June 11. The North also said it will launch its first military spy satellite in June in a bid to monitor "dangerous" military activity by the US and South Korea in real time.
In a statement carried by the KCNA, Ri Pyong-Chol, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Worker's Party of Korea, said the North's satellite reconnaissance is an "indispensable" act to bolster its self-defense capabilities against the enemies' "reckless" military exercises. (end)