North Korea says it will launch its first military spy satellite in June
SEOUL, (Reuters) – North Korea will launch its first military reconnaissance satellite in June for monitoring U.S. military activities, state media KCNA reported on Tuesday.
In a statement carried by the KCNA news agency, Ri Pyong Chol, vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers’ Party, denounced joint military exercises by the United States and South Korea as openly showing their “reckless ambition for aggression.”
A North Korean government official said that the country intends to launch a “military reconnaissance satellite” in June, the country’s state media reported Tuesday, a day after Pyongyang notified Tokyo of its plan.
Ri Pyong Chol, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, said in a statement dated Monday that the satellite launch is “indispensable” to beef up preparedness against “the dangerous military acts of the U.S. and its vassal forces,” according to the Korean Central News Agency.
Japan, the United States and South Korea have said a satellite launch using ballistic missile technology would violate U.N. Security Council resolutions.
The statement came after North Korea notified the Japanese government on Monday that it is planning to launch a “satellite” between Wednesday and June 11.
U.S. and South Korean forces have carried out various training exercises in recent months, including what they said were the biggest joint live-fire exercises last week, after many drills were scaled back amid COVID-19 restrictions and hopes for diplomatic efforts with North Korea.
North Korea’s Ri said the drills required Pyongyang to have the “means capable of gathering information about the military acts of the enemy in real time.”
“We will comprehensively consider the present and future threats and put into more thoroughgoing practice the activities for strengthening all-inclusive and practical war deterrents,” Ri said in the statement.