Seoul warns North Korea not to launch spy satellite and hints 2018 military deal could be suspended

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s military warned North Korea not to go ahead with its planned spy satellite launch, suggesting Monday that Seoul could suspend an inter-Korean agreement to reduce tensions and resume front-line aerial surveillance in response.

North Korea failed in its first two attempts to put a military spy satellite into orbit earlier this year and didn’t follow through with a vow to make in October. South Korean officials said the delay was likely because North Korea is receiving Russian technology assistance and that a launch could happen in coming days.

“Our military will come up with necessary measures to protect the lives and safety of the people, if North Korea pushes ahead with a military spy satellite launch despite our warning,” a senior South Korean military officer, Kang Hopil, said in a televised statement.

South Korean said in an interview with public broadcaster KBS on Sunday the launch was expected later this month and that South Korean and U.S. authorities were monitoring North Korea’s moves.