After a few days of delay due to bad weather conditions, South Korea finally launched its first-ever indigenous military spy satellite from California’s Vandenberg US Space Force Base on Friday, December 1 (local time).

This historic milestone not only bolsters Seoul’s surveillance capabilities but also signals an escalated space race between its northern neighbor and nemesis, North Korea.

With Pyongyang also claiming to have successfully launched its first military spy satellite two weeks ago after two earlier failed attempts, both nations are now making assertive advancements in their satellite technology for intelligence gathering and reconnaissance.

Let’s take a close look at the latest developments in this intensifying East Asian space race.

Securing Sovereignty: South Korea’s Strategic Shift

The South Korean satellite, propelled into orbit by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, embarked on its mission at 10:19 AM local time on December 1.

Adorned with the conspicuous label “KOREA,” the rocket launched South Korea’s reconnaissance satellite, marking a significant leap forward in the nation’s defense infrastructure.

Reports from Yonhap news agency confirmed the successful entry of the satellite into orbit just minutes after the launch, signifying a monumental accomplishment for the Republic of Korea’s space program.

Republic of Korea, or ROK, is the official name of South Korea.