DPRK confirms satellite launch next month to monitor US military
Vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers' Party believes that the DPRK saw "the need to expand reconnaissance and information means and improve various defensive and offensive weapons" to bolster its military preparedness.
A military reconnaissance satellite is due for launch next month, as confirmed by the DPRK, to monitor US military activities and its regional allies in real-time.
Vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission of the North's ruling Workers' Party, Ri Pyong Chol, released a statement declaring that the "military reconnaissance satellite No. 1" will be "launched in June," as cited by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in its report on Tuesday.
That satellite, along with "various reconnaissance means due to be newly tested, are indispensable to tracking, monitoring...and coping in advance [and] in real-time with the dangerous military acts of the US and its vassal forces," the statement said.
This arrives in light of recent US military exercises with regional allies South Korea and Japan on the Korean Peninsula, which the North perceives as rehearsals for an invasion of its territory. Last week, the US and South Korean armies began live-fire exercises simulating an alleged "full-scale attack" from North Korea as part of their war games.
Vice-chairman Ri believes that the DPRK saw "the need to expand reconnaissance and information means and improve various defensive and offensive weapons" to bolster its military preparedness, citing "reckless" acts by Washington and Seoul.
He accused the US of undertaking "hostile air espionage activities on the Korean peninsula and in its vicinity."
'It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a ballistic missile'
Just yesterday, Japan declared it is preparing for DPRK to launch what Pyongyang has identified as a satellite in the coming weeks. However, Tokyo argues it may be a ballistic missile.
A coastguard spokesperson said, as quoted by AFP, that Pyongyang has warned Japan's coastguard that a missile would be fired between May 31 and June 11 and would land in waters between the Yellow Sea, East China Sea, and east of Luzon Island in the Philippines.
However, the Prime Minister's office stated in a tweet that Fumio Kishida provided orders "on North Korea's notification about the launch of a ballistic missile that it describes as a satellite."
Earlier this month, DPRK leader Kim Jong Un inspected the country's first reconnaissance satellite and gave the go-ahead for its "future action plan" after meeting with the Non-permanent Satellite Launch Preparatory Committee before viewing the satellite, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
NEW: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited the country’s space agency to review preparations for a military spy satellite, state media reported Wednesday.— NK NEWS (@nknewsorg) May 16, 2023
The visit marks his first reported public appearance in a month.
More soon @nknewsorg pic.twitter.com/tISPjj4iFJ