Japan launching spy satellite on Sunday to monitor North Korea
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan is to launch a new spy satellite on Sunday to strengthen its monitoring capabilities amid concern that North Korea may carry out more missile and nuclear tests.
A rocket carrying a radar-equipped satellite is scheduled to blast off from a space centre at Tanegashima in the southwest, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has announced.
The space agency said the satellite would be used for information-gathering, including data following Japan's 2011 quake and tsunami, but did not mention North Korea by name.
The launch, planned for Sunday between 1:00 and 3:00 pm (12noon - 2pm Singapore time) comes after Pyongyang rejected dialogue on its atomic programme following tightened UN sanctions for a banned rocket launch.