Kim Jong-un orders launch of spy satellite

Seoul, Apr 19 (EFE).- North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has ordered the launch of a “completed” spy satellite to go ahead as planned, state media reported Wednesday.

Kim visited the headquarters of the National Aerospace Development Administration in Pyongyang on Tuesday with his daughter, where he stressed that space development is a “key element” in turning a country into a “world-class economic and sci-tech power and a demonstration of the overall national power.”

Kim gave orders for the establishment of a “non-permanent satellite-launching preparatory committee to make sure that the military reconnaissance satellite No. 1 completed as of April will be launched at the planned date (…) and firmly establish the satellite intelligence-gathering capability by deploying several reconnaissance satellites on different orbits in succession in the future,” KCNA said.

His visit comes after Pyongyang in December launched a test device that took photos of South Korea and announced that he planned to launch a spy satellite into orbit by April.

Last week KCNA published an article praising the development potential that the space industry brings with it and the projects that the regime is preparing in this field.

During the visit, Kim also claimed that “US imperialists are deploying nuclear carriers, nuclear strategic bombers and other huge strategic assets of various missions on a permanent basis on the Korean Peninsula and its vicinity to turn South Korea into an advanced base for aggression and an arsenal for war,” and it is “threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DPRK under the pretext of the allied readiness.”

Images taken between the end of March and the beginning of April, analyzed by the specialized website 38 North, indicate that the construction of a port to the southeast of the Sohae space launch base has recently accelerated and advanced, along with the road that connects it to the complex.

The completion of this port and related infrastructure will allow the shipment of key equipment and materials for the modernization of Sohae.

Kim visited Sohae in March last year and ordered to expand the base to launch larger carrier rockets and deploy reconnaissance satellites.

North Korea has launched five space rockets – the last in February 2016 – with which he said he was looking to put observation satellites into orbit.

The international community considered in each case that the regime was trying to covertly test ballistic missile technology and no expert has ever picked up any signal from the devices being deployed into orbit.

In any case, Pyongyang has since tested many intercontinental ballistic missiles, the most recent on Apr. 13. EFE


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