Japan Launches Spy Satellite to Watch North Korea By Cresswell McCoy | Mar 17, 2017 05:05 PM EDT Japan launched a new spy satellite into orbit to watch their unpredictable, nuclear armed neighbor North Korea. The satellite is called the Information Gathering Satellite (IGS) Radar 5, plus this program was started way back in 1998 in response to North Korea's missiles tests. North Korea had sent missiles presumably flying over Japan more than once; they have also repeatedly threatened to destroy Japan, South Korea and the United States. While threatening these countries they have continued to develop their nuclear weapons and missile programs. In order to know more Japan's IGS satellite will monitor such efforts, on the other hand it will also help the government to respond quickly for other natural disasters and perform several other functions. The first IGS satellite took off in 2003 and the IGS Radar 5 is 15 on the list to take flight as per Space. Watch video Some of these spacecrafts use optical sensors to study the ground below, and the other depend on radar instruments. The IGS Radar 5 will be one of those Radar satellites to study the ground. Out of the 15 satellites two were lost due to a launch failure in November 2003. Japan has managed to keep some of the information about the IGS satellite confidential. They did not reveal many details, for example, it is clearly unknown which orbit the IGS Radar 5 will inhabit. Some of the IGS Radar 5 satellite's predecessors were known to circle the earth in an altitude of about 300 miles. According to Japan, this is a program to be aware from North Korea's missile threats. Launching satellites like the IGS Radar 5 will certainly help them not only to keep an eye on North Korea, but also monitor other causes for their own benefits. The spy satellite will keep a track of the nuclear tests and other activities that might affect the country.