North Korea confirms test of spy satellite ‘important’ for April launch


North Korea’s state media KCNA said on Monday the country conducted a “final, important” test on Sunday to develop a spy satellite, which it seeks to complete. in April 2023.

The report was released a day after the South Korean and Japanese militaries reported isolated North Korea launched two intermediate-range ballistic missiles towards the east coast.

According to KCNA, Pyongyang’s National Aerospace Development Agency (NADA) conducted a test at the Sohae satellite launch station in the northwest to examine its ability to take satellite images, data transmission and systems. ground control.

A vehicle carrying the dummy satellite, which also includes multiple cameras, image transmitters and receivers, control equipment and storage batteries, was fired at a “tilt angle” of 500 km (311 mi).

“We have validated key technical indicators such as the technology to operate the camera in space, the data processing and transmission capabilities of the communication devices, the tracking and control accuracy of the system. ground control system,” a NADA spokesman said in a KCNA dispatch.

The spokesperson called the test “the final gateway process to launch a reconnaissance satellite” that will be completed by April.

KCNA also released two low-resolution, black and white images of the South Korean capital Seoul and the nearby port city of Incheon, believed to have been taken during Sunday’s launch.

North Korea has conducted an unprecedented number of missile tests this year, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) designed to reach the US mainland, defying international sanctions.

On Friday, North Korea tested a high-thrust solid-fuel engine that experts say will facilitate faster and more maneuverable ballistic missile launches, as it seeks to develop new strategic weapons and accelerated nuclear and missile programs.

Pyongyang has tested satellite systems in a number of missile launches, and leader Kim Jong Un has said its pursuit of a spy satellite aims to provide real-time information about its military actions. United States and its allies.

South Korea’s presidential office strongly condemns North Korea’s latest launch, saying its continued provocations and missile and nuclear development will only endanger its own regime. .

(Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Daniel Wallis, Paul Simao and Diane Craft)

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