North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un viewed photos of U.S. military sites taken by a spy satellite launched on Tuesday, state media reported Wednesday, according to a translation carried in KCNA Watch.
South Korea confirmed that North Korea successfully placed the Malligyong-1 reconnaissance satellite into orbit following two attempts May and August that failed due to a rocket malfunction, The New York Times reported. Kim visited the North Korean aerospace agency’s headquarters in Pyongyang to view imagery collected Wednesday morning local time of Anderson Air Force Base and other U.S. military sites on Guam, state media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
Kim underscored the need for North Korea to deploy a constellation of spy satellites to increase the DPRK military’s ability to strike at long distances and for self defense, KCNA reported.
The launch represents “a great event in developing the armed forces of the Republic and coping with a new military situation in the region,” Kim said, according to KCNA.
The Malligyong-1 will be fully operational on Dec. 1 following a period of fine-tuning, KCNA said.
South Korea’s military acknowledged the Malligyong-1’s successful launch, but said that more analysis was needed to determine whether it was functioning as North Korea advertised, the NYT reported. It’s not yet clear whether the satellite deployed its solar panels, allowing it to recharge its batteries and relay signals and imagery to the ground station.
Scientists who studied debris from the failed launch in May assessed the Malligyong-1 most likely lacked the technology to deliver high-resolution imagery of the kind collected by U.S. space-based reconnaissance assets, the NYT reported.
North Korea said it successfully placed its first spy satellite in orbit and vowed to launch more in the near future, defying international condemnation from the United States and its allies https://t.co/TWXFJPFR8Upic.twitter.com/DPzePDUQoB
— Reuters Asia (@ReutersAsia) November 22, 2023
The U.S., Japan and South Korea condemned North Korea for launching the satellite in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions from firing rockets into space, the NYT reported. Washington has accused Pyongyang of using its space programs to conceal research on long-range ballistic missile technology for carrying nuclear payloads.
On Wednesday, South Korea suspended a 2018 treaty that had maintained a no-fly rules above the North-South border zone and banned live-fire military drills and aerial surveillance flights, the NYT reported.
“North Korea has made it clear that it is not interested in easing military tensions on the Korean Peninsula or in living up to the military agreement to build trust,” Prime Minister Han Duck-soo of South Korea said on Wednesday, the NYT reported.
The Pentagon did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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