DPRK begins reconnaissance satellite operations
A spokesperson for the DPRK's Defense Ministry indicates that any potential attack on the satellite would be regarded as a "declaration of war."
Following the successful launch of its first military satellite in November, the DPRK has begun surveillance satellite operations, according to the state news agency.
The new satellite operations office at the Pyongyang General Control Center of the National Aerospace Technology Administration (NATA) began operations on Saturday and will report acquired data to the army's reconnaissance bureau and other major units, according to KCNA on Sunday.
The DPRK issued a warning on Saturday, stating that it would "destroy" US spy satellites in response to any potential attack on its recently launched military satellite.
A spokesperson for the DPRK's Defense Ministry indicated that any potential attack on the satellite would be regarded as a "declaration of war," as the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported.
The statement was issued in response to a remark by a US official, where Washington suggested that it "could deny an adversary's space and counter-space capabilities... using a variety of reversible and irreversible means," about the DPRK's successful spy satellite launch in late November.
KCNA announced Tuesday that the Mallingyong-1 military reconnaissance satellite has captured images of key US military facilities.
According to the report, the satellite focused on significant targets, including the Pentagon and the naval base in Norfolk. Images also extended to the White House.
DPRK leader Kim Jong Un also received satellite photos of Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, an airfield in Virginia, the Newport News shipyard, as well as capturing images of Rome.
The big picture
The launch of a working reconnaissance satellite would enhance DPRK's intelligence-gathering capabilities, especially over South Korea, and furnish critical data in the event of a military conflict. Following last week's launch, the DPRK asserted that its satellite has already captured images of major US and South Korean military sites.
The launch marked the DPRK's third attempt to place such a satellite in orbit, following two previous failures.
The DPRK successfully launched its Malligyong-1 satellite while announcing plans to launch several more satellites in a "short period", stating that "the launch of reconnaissance satellite is a legitimate right of the DPRK for strengthening its self-defensive capabilities" as the country confronts what it describes as threats from South Korea and the United States.
The satellite was able to capture photos from Mokpo-si, Osan, Kunsan, and Seoul, all of which host military air bases. The United States operates air bases in Osan and Mokpo while its Air Force utilizes the Seoul Air Base.