North Korea tests satellite surveillance system
North Korea announced on Monday that the missile tests conducted the day before were meant to test the new reconnaissance satellite system.
According to state news agency KCNA, the device “conducted vertical and inclined photographing of the specified area of the ground with cameras to be loaded on satellite.”
The test, the eighth conducted by North Korea this year, was intended to check the accuracy and performance of a new photographing system and data transmission systems, among other things.
“The recent test is of great significance in the development of reconnaissance satellite,” KCNA stated.
The state media outlet also released two photographic images of the Korean Peninsula as seen from space, similar to those released on January 30 after the last missile test.
The development of military reconnaissance was one of the steps North Korean leader Kim Jong-un announced in 2021, along with hypersonic weapons, which were tested recently.
The launch comes amid South Korean plans to test solid-fuel space projectiles – part of a project to develop a satellite surveillance system to keep watch over its neighbor.
On Sunday, South Korea’s military reported that North Korea had fired a projectile eastward to a maximum altitude of around 620km and a range of about 300km.
The latest test sparked condemnation from parts of the international community, with the US, Britain, France, and other countries vowing to discuss the issue in a closed-door council to be held on Monday.
Sunday’s launch came shortly after Chinese President Xi Jinping promised to step up “friendship and cooperation” with North Korea in the “new situation,” without elaborating or saying whether the term refers to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.