North Korea prepares to launch its first spy satellite
By Alastair Wanklyn - Toyko, Japan
Pyongyang on Monday said it tested a camera in orbit and now will launch its first satellite aimed at foreign reconnaissance.
It released photographs that appeared to be taken from space of South Korean cities, including Seoul.
North Korea is making a range of advances in security. Its leader, Kim Jong Un, has announced work on multi-warhead nuclear missiles as well as nuclear submarines to launch them.
In the past several months, Pyongyang has fired around 60 missiles.
Those actions are against United Nations demands. But the internationally the response was muted.
Shifting geopolitical focus
Analysts say nations are distracted in part by the war in Ukraine.
That war has hidden other shifting postures in East Asia, including Japan strengthening its defence capacity.
Japan will double its spending on defence in the next five years, citing threats including North Korea.
Moreover, Japan will acquire the ability to hit targets in foreign nations, for the first time since World War II.
Until now, Japanese troops and weapons have focussed largely on threats inside Japanese territory. In part, Japan will meet this new target by purchasing missiles from the United States.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Japan's military spending would increase to around 2 percent of GDP. That is approaching American military spending of just over 3 percent.