South Korea today launched its first military communications satellite, reports the AFP. The Mugunghwa-5 satellite, built by the French company Alcatel, was launched from a ship in the South Pacific off Hawaii. It will be placed in geosynchronous orbit, at 36,000 kilometers (22,000 miles), and will be able to collect surveillance information on North Korea. The Mugunghwa-5 is South Korea’s fourth communications satellite, but the first for military purposes. South Korea has previously had no surveillance system of its own and depended on U.S. airborne reconnaissance aircraft based at Okinawa in Japan.