North Korea’s media have reported that North Korea has conducted a “significant test” to build a spy satellite.
Despite international sanctions, Pyongyang conducted record-breaking weapons tests in January. The country suspended those missiles during the Beijing Winter Olympics. However, the South Korean military said on Sunday it had identified the launch of a ballistic missile. South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reports that the missile may have been launched from a mobile launch pad at a sharp angle, and that it was a medium-range ballistic missile.
However, the North Korean news agency KCNA on Sunday conducted a “very important test to build a spy satellite”. According to the state news agency, the test allowed to confirm the “operational characteristics and accuracy of high-definition photo system, data transfer system and altitude control”. According to KCNA, this includes capturing images of a specific region of the Earth by cameras coming from spy satellites.
In a rare joint statement in New York, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Albania, Brazil, Ireland and Norway denounced UN resolutions as “clear violations.” Those countries threatened international sanctions against North Korea and urged that country to choose diplomacy.
The creation of a military spy satellite, such as the recently tested hypersonic weapons, is one of the key defense plans announced by President Kim Jong-un last year. Analysts say the construction of a spy satellite will provide North Korea with a cover to test intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). After all, those long-range missiles have the same technology.
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