North Korea claims to have tested spy satellite

Seoul, Dec 19 (EFE).- North Korea on Monday claimed to have conducted “an important final-stage test for the development of reconnaissance satellite.”

The official Korean Central News Agency said the National Aerospace Development Administration tested the military satellite on Sunday at the country’s Sohae satellite launching station in Cholsan, in North Pyongan Province.

The news agency said the test reviewed the military spy satellite’s imaging capabilities, data transmission, and ground control system of the satellite.

Citing an unnamed spokesperson of the aerospace agency, the KCNA said the launch “confirmed important technical indicators” like camera operating technology in the space environment, data processing, and transmission ability of the communication devices.

It also confirmed the tracking and control accuracy of the ground control system, the KCNA said.

The NADA spokesperson said the test was conducted at an altitude of 500 km (310 miles) with one panchromatic camera for 20m resolution, two multispectral cameras, video transmitters, and receivers of several bands, control devices, and batteries.

The North Korean aerospace agency said it would finish the preparations for the first military reconnaissance satellite by April 2023.

On Sunday, the South Korean military said the North launched two medium-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan.

The missiles were fired from the Tongchang-ri area, North Pyongan Province, where Pyongyang tested a high-thrust solid-fuel motor for a new type of strategic weapon on Thursday.

Sohae is in the same launching center.

The South Korean military said the missiles were fired at steep angles and flew about 500 km (310 miles).

The KCNA dispatch also included what looked a satellite imagery of the South Korean capital Seoul and its adjacent city of Incheon, purportedly shot from the test-piece satellite.

Another photo shows a projectile blasting off. The pictures bear a logo of the hitherto unknown aerospace agency.

North Korea has conducted a record number of weapons tests this year.

On Thursday, it tested a high-thrust solid-fuel motor, a development that could lead to a new type of more efficient intercontinental-range ballistic missile (ICBM).

The North Korean military conducted the test in the presence of Kim Jong-un at a satellite launch center that the international community believes Pyongyang uses to test long-range missiles.

The special envoys of the US, South Korea, and Japan for North Korea held a telephone conversation after Sunday’s launches, in which they stressed the importance of a strong international response to Pyongyang’s provocations and pledged to strengthen trilateral cooperation, Yonhap said.

The new test comes days after the United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution calling for intensifying global efforts to improve the human rights situation in North Korea.

It also comes after Japan’s government on Friday approved new defense guidelines, which for the first time include the ability to attack enemy bases in the event of a threat to its national security, as well as a record increase in military spending.

The development of a solid fuel ICBM is one of the objectives of Kim’s regime for the North Korean weapons modernization plan approved in January 2021.

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