North Korea will try this month to launch a spy satellite, a Seoul-based think tank said, the third attempt after two previous launches failed soon after liftoff.
On Friday, the Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU) predicted the new launch could come between Oct. 10 and 26, citing considerations around upcoming events, including a summit between China and Russia, joint military drills between South Korea and the United States, and the expected launch of a South Korean rocket in November.
Sending a political message may be Pyongyang's priority rather than technical readiness, KINU researchers said at a briefing.
The launch would be the first since leader Kim Jong Un visited Russia in September to meet President Vladimir Putin, who vowed to help Pyongyang build satellites.
Two previous attempts to place what would be North Korea's first spy satellite into orbit failed, and after the last attempt in August, the nuclear-armed state's scientists promised to try again in October.
The previous two launches came soon after the G7 summit and the trilateral summit between the U.S., Japan and South Korea, respectively, KINU noted.
In both cases, North Korea notified international maritime authorities of a window during which they expected to launch the rocket.
North Korea's rocket programs are banned by United Nations Security Council resolutions that prohibit its use of ballistic missile technology.
Russia and North Korea have not elaborated on what their future space cooperation might entail, but analysts say such efforts risk violating the resolutions and sanctions. (Reporting by Hyunsu Yim; Editing by Josh Smith and Gerry Doyle)