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North Korea Set To Launch Its First Military Spy Satellite In June

By 05/30/2023 9:56 AMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff

North Korea announced Tuesday that it would launch its first military spy satellite in June and emphasized the importance of space-based reconnaissance in observing the “reckless” military drills conducted by the United States and South Korea’s adversary.

The announcement comes a day after North Korea informed Japan’s coast guard that it intends to launch a satellite between May 31 and June 11, warning that the event may have an impact on waterways in the Yellow Sea, East China Sea, and the east of the Philippine island of Luzon.

Yasukazu Hamada, the defense minister of Japan, claimed he gave the order for the Self-Defense Forces of Japan to shoot down any satellite or debris that came close to Japanese land.

Senior North Korean military official Ri Pyong Chol criticized the joint US-ROK military drills, which Pyongyang has long referred to as invasion preparations, in remarks released on state media.

According to him, North Korea believes space-based reconnaissance is “indispensable” for tracking in real-time the “dangerous military acts of the U.S. and its vassal forces,” which he claims are “openly revealing their reckless ambition for aggression.”

About 100 missiles have been tested by North Korea since 2022 began, including intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the U.S. mainland and several launches that the country portrayed as practice nuclear assaults on targets in South Korea. North Korea, which continues to exploit these drills as an excuse to expand its arsenal of nuclear-capable weapons, has claimed that its increased testing activity is intended to offset its competitors’ joint military exercises.

As the first of five rounds of exercises commemorating 70 years since forming their alliance, the South Korean and American forces conducted extensive live-fire drills last week close to the border with North Korea.

Ri claimed that the growing number of joint military drills between the United States and South Korea, along with official American plans to station nuclear-armed submarines in South Korea and increased activities by American reconnaissance aircraft in the area, highlight a “sinister intention” to get ready for preemptive military action against the North.

While Washington and Seoul characterize their routine military drills as defensive, they have since 2022 increased their training to address the North’s changing threats.

“Securing as the most pressing task a reliable reconnaissance and information means capable of gathering information about the military acts of the enemy in real-time,” Ri said, referring to the unsettling security environment that currently exists in the region as a result of the risky military actions by the U.S. and its vassal forces.

“(North Korea’s) military reconnaissance satellite No. 1 to be launched in June and various reconnaissance means due to be newly tested are indispensable to tracking, monitoring, discriminating, controlling and coping in advance in real-time with the dangerous military acts of the U.S. and its vassal forces,” he continued. Ri didn’t disclose the other alleged reconnaissance methods the North has in mind.

The U.N. has previously barred North Korea from using long-range missile technology for satellite launches.

Despite Security Council resolutions, North Korea has previously conducted missile and rocket tests that showed it can launch a satellite into orbit.

Spy satellites are among the many cutting-edge weaponry systems that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has declared openly that he will create.

He also wants solid-fuel ICBMs, nuclear-powered submarines, hypersonic missiles, and missiles with multiple warheads.

In 2012 and 2016, North Korea launched satellites for Earth observation.

While North Korea does not previously alert its neighbors of missile launches, it has done so in the past for satellite launches.

There are concerns regarding the capabilities of North Korea’s satellites, even though its past missile and rocket launches have shown it is capable of launching a satellite into orbit.

Foreign experts claim that past satellites never returned imagery to North Korea, and analysts argue that the latest device shown in state media in recent weeks appeared too small and imprecisely constructed to analyze and send high-resolution imagery.

North Korea will suffer the consequences if it proceeds with its launch plan in defiance of the U.N., South Korea said on Monday.

Resolutions of the Security Council prohibiting the North from employing ballistic technology in any launch operations.


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