| 15 April 2024, Monday |

North Korea to launch satellites to monitor U.S. and its allies

North Korea will launch a number of reconnaissance satellites in the coming years to provide real-time information on military actions by the US and its allies, according to state media on Thursday.

During an inspection of North Korea’s National Aerospace Development Administration, Kim stated that “a lot” of military reconnaissance satellites would be placed in sun-synchronous polar orbit over the course of a five-year plan announced last year, according to state news agency KCNA.

“He stated 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 US imperialism and its vassal forces in South Korea, Japan, and the Pacific,” according to the news agency.

Experts say North Korea appears to be preparing to launch a reconnaissance satellite, which could be as contentious as the nuclear-armed country’s weapons tests because it employs the same prohibited ballistic missile technology.

North Korea says it conducted two tests of satellite systems on Feb. 27 and March 5. Authorities in South Korea, Japan, and the United States says the tests involved launches of ballistic missiles.

The launches drew international condemnation and the U.S. military said on Thursday it had increased surveillance and reconnaissance collection in the Yellow Sea.

The United States also said it had heightened its ballistic missile defense readiness after a “significant increase” in North Korean missile tests.

Kim defended the satellite work as not only about gathering information but protecting North Korea’s sovereignty and national interests, exercising its legitimate rights to self-defenses, and elevating national prestige, KCNA reported.

“He stressed that this urgent project for perfecting the country’s war preparedness capacity by improving our state’s war deterrent is the supreme revolutionary task, a political and military priority task to which our Party and government attach the most importance,” KCNA said.

The United States and its allies have condemned previous North Korean space launches as violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions that have imposed sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear and missile programmes.

  • Reuters