North Korea confirms June for spy ‘satellite’ launch

Seoul, May 30 (EFE).- North Korea has confirmed it will launch a spy satellite in June aimed at surveilling the United States’ and its allies’ military activity, which it considers a threat, according to the state Korean Central News Agency on Tuesday.

The published statement put out by the vice president of the sole North Korean party’s Central Military Commission and key figure in the country’s missile program, Ri Pyong-chol said that “the DPRK’s military reconnaissance satellite No. 1 [is] to be launched in June.”

DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea’s official name.

The satellite “and various reconnaissance means due to be newly tested are indispensable to tracking, monitoring, discriminating, controlling and coping with in advance in real time the dangerous military acts of the U.S. and its vassal forces openly revealing their reckless ambition for aggression as time passes by and to strengthening the military preparedness of the armed forces of the DPRK,” it added.

In the statement attacking the military drills of the US and its allies in the region, and in which it accuses Washington of spying and threatening its sovereignty, North Korea pointed out that “we steadily feel the need to expand reconnaissance and information means and improve various defensive and offensive weapons.”

In this sense, Pyongyang said that it already has “the timetables for carrying out (…) development plans” for these weapons, without providing further details, and said that it will continue to analyze “present and future threats” and strengthen its war deterrence.

The statement matches the notification made to Japanese authorities on Monday about an upcoming North Korean launch of the alleged satellite between Wednesday and June 11.

North Korea reported in April that it had completed preparations to launch a military reconnaissance satellite. Leader Kim Jong-un visited the facilities on several occasions in preparation.

Pyongyang has launched five space rockets with which it said it was looking to put observation satellites into orbit, the last one in February 2016.

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 sign of North Korean devices being deployed into Earth’s orbit.

Pyongyang has since tested numerous intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), the last one on April 13. EFE


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