Seoul builds up defenses with first military satellite

2020-07-22 05:17:55 GMT2020-07-22 13:17:55(Beijing Time) Sina English
This handout photo taken on Monday and received on Tuesday from South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration shows a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the ANASIS-II satellite blasting off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.  This handout photo taken on Monday and received on Tuesday from South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration shows a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the ANASIS-II satellite blasting off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

South Korea’s first-ever military communications satellite has been successfully launched by private operator SpaceX, Seoul said on Tuesday, as it looks to build up its defence capabilities.

A Falcon 9 rocket carrying the satellite blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, Seoul’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration said in a statement.

SpaceX confirmed the satellite deployed about 32 minutes after lift-off, on Monday afternoon.

DAPA said the launch made South Korea the 10th country in the world to own a military-only communications satellite, which will provide “permanent and secured military communications.”

The satellite is expected to reach its orbit of 36,000 kilometers in two weeks and South Korea’s military will take over the system in October after testing, it added.

Seoul is looking to enhance its military capabilities as it pushes to end an current arrangement under which, if war breaks out, American commanders will have authority over their combined forces.

The satellite was “expected to improve the South Korean military’s independent operational capabilities,” an official at its defense ministry said.

(Agencies)

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