North Korea Preparing to Launch Military Satellite, South Says 

This photo provided by the North Korean government shows what the country said is the launch of the Malligyong-1, a military spy satellite, into orbit on Nov. 21, 2023. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)
This photo provided by the North Korean government shows what the country said is the launch of the Malligyong-1, a military spy satellite, into orbit on Nov. 21, 2023. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)
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North Korea Preparing to Launch Military Satellite, South Says 

This photo provided by the North Korean government shows what the country said is the launch of the Malligyong-1, a military spy satellite, into orbit on Nov. 21, 2023. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)
This photo provided by the North Korean government shows what the country said is the launch of the Malligyong-1, a military spy satellite, into orbit on Nov. 21, 2023. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

South Korea's military said on Friday it had detected signs in North Korea of possible preparations for a satellite launch in what would be the nuclear-armed North's effort to place a second military reconnaissance craft in orbit.

South Korea and US intelligence authorities are closely monitoring North Korea's activities, a South Korean military official said.

The activities were spotted at Dongchang-ri, a northwestern area of the country where North Korea's main space flight center is based, the official said without elaborating.

North Korea launched its first spy satellite last year and claimed leader Kim Jong Un reviewed photos taken of the White House and the Pentagon, among other areas of the world. State media have not released any photos taken by the craft, however.

The launch was met with sanctions from the US and its allies and prompted Seoul to suspend part of a military agreement it signed with Pyongyang in 2018.

Pyongyang scrapped the pact in response and restored previously demolished guard houses near the border.

The reclusive state also vowed to launch three more satellites this year.

Earlier this year, South Korea launched its second homegrown spy satellite on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida amid a space race with the North.

Pyongyang has defended its satellite launch as part of its right to self-defense and denounced Washington's reaction as a "double standard" over South Korea's launch of its own.



Iran Top Court Overturns Rapper Toomaj Salehi’s Death Sentence, Lawyer Says

People hold placards bearing portraits of Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi, who is arrested in Iran, and portraits of children (L), who were killed during the protests in Iran, during a rally in support of Iranian women in Istanbul, on November 26, 2022. (AFP)
People hold placards bearing portraits of Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi, who is arrested in Iran, and portraits of children (L), who were killed during the protests in Iran, during a rally in support of Iranian women in Istanbul, on November 26, 2022. (AFP)
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Iran Top Court Overturns Rapper Toomaj Salehi’s Death Sentence, Lawyer Says

People hold placards bearing portraits of Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi, who is arrested in Iran, and portraits of children (L), who were killed during the protests in Iran, during a rally in support of Iranian women in Istanbul, on November 26, 2022. (AFP)
People hold placards bearing portraits of Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi, who is arrested in Iran, and portraits of children (L), who were killed during the protests in Iran, during a rally in support of Iranian women in Istanbul, on November 26, 2022. (AFP)

Iran's supreme court has overturned Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi's death sentence on charges linked to the country's 2022-23 period of unrest, his lawyer wrote in a post on the X social media platform on Saturday.

"The death sentence of #Toomaj_Salehi was overturned and based on the appeal decision ...of the Supreme Court, the case will be referred to (another) branch for consideration," attorney Amir Raisian wrote on X.

There was no immediate official confirmation of the ruling.

Salehi's songs supported protests sparked by the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish Iranian woman arrested for allegedly wearing an "improper" hijab.