Kim Jong Un orders launch of spy satellite to proceed | Military News

Putting a surveillance satellite into orbit is a key goal of the North Korean leader’s military strategy.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country had completed the development of its first military spy satellite and ordered officials to conduct a planned launch, according to state media.

Kim, who visited the country’s National Aerospace Development Agency, said developing reconnaissance capabilities was a top priority to counter “threats” from the United States and South Korea and that several satellites are needed to firmly establish intelligence-gathering capabilities, the state agency’s KCNA bulletin reported on Wednesday.

Kim called for the planned deployment of the satellite but did not give details on the launch date.

In December, North Korea conducted what it called an important “final stage” test of a spy satellite and said it would complete preparations for a launch in April.

“Securing real-time information about the military scenario of hostile forces” is the “most important” task, Kim said.

Mr. Kim also accused the US and South Korea of ​​expanding hostile military campaigns in the name of strengthening their alliance and claimed the US was trying to “turn South Korea into an advanced base for aggression and an arsenal of weapons”. weapons for war” by deploying military assets such as aircraft. aircraft carriers and nuclear-capable bombers in the region.

The U.S. and South Korean militaries have been expanding joint exercises to strengthen deterrence against North Korea’s growing nuclear threats. This week, it conducted a 12-day aerial exercise involving about 110 warplanes and held a one-day naval missile defense exercise with Japan.

Kim accused the US of trying to “turn South Korea into an advanced base for aggression and an arsenal for war” by deploying military assets such as aircraft carriers and bombers. nuclear capabilities in the region.

State media shared a photo of Kim talking to officials in front of an apparently blurred satellite image. He was accompanied by his daughter, who has been photographed with her father at several recent missile launches and military events.

North Korea has made a record number of missile tests in 2022 and has conducted about 30 drills since the start of this year as Kim seeks to modernize and enhance the country’s military capabilities.

Last week, Pyongyang tested what it said was a solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)an important breakthrough and has also developed nuclear-powered submarines, hypersonic missiles and multi-warhead missiles, although it is unclear whether they will soon enter service.

Observers say that while North Korea complains about the US-South Korea military exercises, it is also using them as an excuse to enhance its capabilities and increase pressure on Washington to make concessions.

“As the United States and South Korea are conspiring to further tighten their military posture against the DPRK… the DPRK’s development of a military deterrent strong enough to cope with the severe security environment now and in the future is completely natural,” Kim said. , according to KCNA.

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is the official name of the country.

Putting a spy satellite into orbit would require a long-range rocket. But these launches are banned by the United Nations, which sees such activity as a cover for testing long-range ballistic missile technology.

Pyongyang launched the first and second Earth observation satellites into orbit in 2012 and 2016, leading to new UN sanctions, but foreign experts say no one transmitted any. Any pictures of North Korea.

Although it continues to test weapons in violation of UN resolutions for now, North Korea has avoided renewed criticism because of Russia and China, permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. China has veto power – has refused to support efforts by the US and other countries to tighten sanctions.

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