Thursday, 22 Feb, 2024


Kim Jong hails 'space power' after spy satellite launch

Technology Desk |
Update: 2023-11-25 09:10:00
Kim Jong hails 'space power' after spy satellite launch [photo collected]

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un has congratulated his team of scientists for launching a spy satellite, calling it a "new era of space power".

He described the mission as a "full-fledged exercise in self defence".

North Korea fired a rocket believed to contain the spy satellite on Tuesday.

It claimed it was a success but South Korea said it was too soon to tell if the satellite is functioning, after two previous launches failed.

Mr Kim appeared at a reception of space scientists and technicians on Thursday with his wife Ri Sol Ju and, daughter, Kim Ju Ae, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

He said the launch "had propelled the country into a new era of space power", KCNA said.

And it added that Mr Kim said "the possession of reconnaissance satellite is a full-fledged exercise of the right to self-defence".

North Korea's premier Kim Tok Hun said the satellite would give their military the capacity to strike the whole world.

Developing a functioning spy satellite is a major part of North Korea's five-year military plan - and the technology could in theory enable Pyongyang to monitor the movement of US and South Korean troops and weapons on the Korean Peninsula, allowing it to spot incoming threats.

A few hours after Tuesday's launch, North Korean state media claimed that they were already reviewing images of US military bases in Guam.

The launch has been strongly condemned by the UN as well as other countries including the US and Japan.

And it has sparked a row with South Korea, who said it believed the North received help from Russia.

The latest launch followed Mr Kim's rare trip to Russia in September, when President Vladimir Putin offered Pyongyang help to build satellites.

Pyongyang's launch of the satellite called "Malligyong-1" was its third attempt after two attempts had failed in May and August.

South Korea confirmed that the launch was successful but said it was too early to determine if the satellite was functioning as claimed by the North.

South Korea partially suspended a five-year-old military accord with the North, after Pyongyang's launch of the satellite on Tuesday.

Pyongyang responded by threatening to suspend the deal in full, adding that it "will never be bound" by the agreement again.

Source: BBC 

BDST: 0857 HRS, NOV 25, 2023

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