Japan Defense Minister: ‘Some Kind of Object’ Newly in Orbit Following North Korea’s ‘Satellite’ Launch

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The main gate of the Defense Ministry is seen in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo.

Defense Minister Minoru Kihara said at a press conference on Friday that “some kind of object” was newly orbiting the Earth following Tuesday’s launch of an “artificial satellite” by North Korea.

Asked if he viewed Pyongyang’s launch as a success, Kihara refrained from answering the question in detail, instead saying, “We need to continue analyzing whether it is orbiting and functioning as North Korea intended.”

Based on its own analysis of the “satellite,” the South Korean military said, “The satellite has entered into orbit around the Earth.”

Prior to Kihara’s comments, the Japanese government had refused to recognize such a possibility.

North Korea has stated its intention to launch several more such satellites.

“We’ll pour our efforts into gathering intelligence, and work on security and surveillance so we’re ready to respond to every possible situation,” Kihara said.