Conflicts & War

Kim says Pyongyang developing satellites to monitor US, allies

Seoul, Mar 10 (EFE).- North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has stated that the regime’s latest missile tests correspond to a satellite development program to collect information on the United States and its allies, according to KCNA on Thursday.

Kim was speaking during a visit to the North Korean National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA), after Pyongyang launched another ballistic missile on Saturday in its ninth test so far this year.

North Korean state media said the latest launch was an “important test” to develop a reconnaissance satellite, like the one carried out a week earlier.

During his visit to NADA, Kim “noted that the purpose of developing and operating the military reconnaissance satellite is to provide the armed forces of the DPRK with real-time information on military actions against it by the aggression troops of the U.S. imperialism and its vassal forces in South Korea, Japan and the Pacific,” KCNA said, using an acronym for the country’s official name.

Kim expressed “great satisfaction” over the satellite’s “aerospace photographing method, (…) the high-resolution photographing equipment and the reliability of image transmission system,” according to KCNA.

The development of a reconnaissance satellite “takes an important share in attaining the five major goals for developing the defence power” set out in the congress of the North Korea’s sole party, stressed Kim, who also underlined “strategic significance of the reconnaissance satellite in enhancing the war deterrent of the state and the capability of war preparedness.”

Kim also recalled the goal set by the North Korean aerospace agency at the request of the single party congress to put “a lot” of military reconnaissance satellites into sun-synchronous polar orbit within five years, with a view to possessing “strong capability for gathering intelligence.”

The KCNA, which also released photos of the leader’s visit to the North’s aerospace facilities without specifying when exactly it took place, published this information a day after the South Korean presidential election.

Conservative Yoon Suk-yeol narrowly edged out liberal Lee Jae-myung, and in addition to marking Seoul’s shift to the right, he comes to power with a stronger stance toward Pyongyang than the liberal ruling party, who opted for the inter-Korean thaw.

But the dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington on denuclearization remains in the deadlock of 2019, and the return to North Korean weapons tests in recent months, including hypersonic missiles and intermediate-range ballistic projectiles, raises fears of a new escalation of tensions on the peninsula. EFE


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