North Korea spy satellite operator to report findings to military

Digitally blurred screens at the Pyongyang General Control Center of the Korean National Aerospace Technology Directorate are seen on Nov. 22, a day after the launch of a rocket carrying a military reconnaissance satellite, in Pyongyang. | KCNA / KNS / VIA AFP-JIJI
Published December 3, 2023

The office operating North Korea’s newly launched spy satellite will run as a military intelligence organization, state media said Sunday.

Pyongyang successfully put a military spy satellite into orbit last month and has since claimed it was providing images of major U.S. and South Korean military sites.

It has not yet disclosed any of the satellite imagery it claims to possess but warned on Saturday that any attack on its space asset would be considered a “declaration of war.”

The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Sunday that the newly formed reconnaissance satellite operation office had begun its mission on Saturday and would operate as “an independent military intelligence organization.”

The office will report its acquired information to the reconnaissance bureau at the army and other major units, KCNA added.



RELATED: North Korea says interference in its satellites would be declaration of war

Published December 2, 2023

SEOUL, Dec 2 (Reuters) – North Korea said on Saturday it would consider any interference with its satellite operations a declaration of war and would mobilise its war deterrence if any attack against its strategic assets were imminent.

Pyongyang would respond to any U.S. interference in space by eliminating the viability of U.S. spy satellites, state media KCNA reported, citing a statement from North Korea’s defence ministry spokesperson.

“In case the U.S. tries to violate the legitimate territory of a sovereign state by weaponizing the latest technologies illegally and unjustly, the DPRK will consider taking responsive action measures for self-defence to undermine or destroy the viability of the U.S. spy satellites,” the statement said.

DPRK are the initials of the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

North Korea says it successfully launched its first military spy satellite on Nov. 21, transmitting photos of military installations in the U.S. mainland, Japan and the U.S. territory of Guam.



RELATED:US and allies target North Korea with new sanctions over spy satellite launch

South Korea is blacklisting 11 North Koreans for involvement in country’s satellite and ballistic missile development

Published December 1, 2023

The US and its allies have launched a new wave of sanctions against North Korea over its launch of a controversial spy satellite, which Kim Jong-un claims to be using to spy on the White House and sensitive US military sites.

The fresh bout of sanctions comes amid heightened tensions on the Korean peninsular over last week’s satellite launch, which contravened UN Security Council resolutions due to its use of ballistic missile technology.

Since the launch, North Korea has withdrawn from a historic 2018 defence pact aimed at reducing the risk of a military clash at its border with the South.

North Korea successfully launched its first spy satellite at the third attempt after Mr Kim met with Vladimir Putin at a Russian cosmodrome in Siberia. Western militaries are yet to confirm whether the satellite will provide any meaningful intelligence to Pyongyang, only verifying that it has indeed entered a stable orbit.





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