Kim Jong Un Announces Completion Of North Korea’s First Spy Satellite

On Wednesday, state media reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stated his country has finished developing its first spy satellite and ordered officials to proceed with the launch as planned. During his visit to the North’s aerospace department on Tuesday, Kim emphasized the significance of obtaining a space-based monitoring system due to what he described as US-led security threats.

At the National Aerospace Development Administration, Kim emphasized that military reconnaissance was vital for North Korea to effectively use its methods of war deterrence, according to KCNA. Kim ordered efforts to hasten final preparations for launching the “military reconnaissance First Spy Satellite” at an undisclosed date. He stated that North Korea must launch several satellites to firmly establish an intelligence-gathering capability.

Moreover, Kim accused the US and South Korea of increasing their hostile military campaigns in the guise of strengthening their alliance. He claimed that the US had transformed South Korea into “an advanced base for aggression” by deploying strategic assets like aircraft carriers and nuclear-capable bombers. The US and South Korean militaries have been expanding their combined drills to bolster their deterrence against North Korea’s growing nuclear threats.

North Korea has conducted about 100 rounds of missile tests since the beginning of last year, approximately 30 of them this year. Observers contend that while North Korea protests the US-South Korean drills, it also uses them as an excuse to advance its military capabilities, which it believes will apply more pressure on Washington to relax sanctions.

Kim Jong Un has announced the completion of North Korea’s first spy satellite, with comments that suggest a connection to the country’s nuclear doctrine that allows for pre-emptive nuclear strikes. KCNA reported that Kim emphasized one of the objectives of the spy satellite was to develop the ability to use pre-emptive military force when necessary.

North Korean military experts say the first spy satellite is intended to provide precise real-time location and movement information to accurately target missiles and other nuclear-armed weapons. Professor Kim Dong-yub of the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul said North Korea is likely to inform international maritime and telecommunication authorities of its specific launch plans, expected to be between May and September.

However, the UN bans North Korea from launching a long-range rocket to put a reconnaissance satellite into orbit, viewing it as a cover for testing ballistic missile technology. While North Korea has previously placed two Earth observation satellites into orbit, foreign experts say neither transmitted any imagery back to the country, leading to UN sanctions being imposed.

Despite recent ballistic missile tests in 2022 and this year, North Korea has avoided fresh UN sanctions as permanent members of the UN Security Council, Russia, and China, have not supported attempts by the US and others to toughen sanctions.

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