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Japan launches spy satellite amid North Korea provocations

ImageFile: Japan launches spy satellite amid North Korea provocations

Japan on Friday successfully put its latest spy satellite into orbit, almost two weeks after North Korea carried out a missile launch exercise targeting U.S. bases in the country, local media reported.

The report noted that the H-2A rocket carrying government’s Information Gathering Satellite Radar 5 blasted off from Tanegashima Space Centre in southern Japan at 10:20 a.m. (0120 GMT).

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It stated that “the satellite separated from the rocket about 20 minutes later”.

The report added that the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, the country’s largest defense contractor, were forced to put off the launch on Wednesday due to bad weather.

TheNewsGuru reports the spy satellite programme was developed and introduced after a missile launched from North Korea in 1998 flew over Japan’s mainland, spooking Tokyo.

North Korea has accelerated its nuclear programme under leader Kim Jong Un, carrying out two nuclear tests and launching more than 20 ballistic missiles 2016 alone.

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On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed that the two countries should share strategic goals to deal with Pyongyang’s growing nuclear missile threat.