North Korea’s state media KCNA stated Monday that the country had conducted an “important final phase” of testing Sunday to develop a spy satellite. It hopes to have it completed by April 2023.
This report was published a day following South Korean and Japanese military reports of the North’s isolated launch of two intermediate range ballistic missiles at its east coast.
According to KCNA, Pyongyang’s National Aerospace Development Administration conducted the test at Sohae, a satellite launching station located in the northwest, to assess its capabilities of satellite imaging and data transmission.
The vehicle was carrying a mock satellite and multiple image transmitters, receivers, and cameras. It was also equipped with a control device, storage battery and a control unit.
In KCNA dispatch, a spokesperson for NADA stated that they had confirmed “important technical indicators” such as the camera operating technology within the space environment, data processing ability and transmission capability of communication devices, and tracking and control accuracy.
According to the spokesperson, this test was a final gateway step in launching a reconnaissance spacecraft. It will end by April.
KCNA released also two low resolution black-and white images of Seoul, South Korea’s capital, and Incheon (nearby port city), which were said to have been taken at Sunday’s launch.
In defiance international sanctions, North Korea conducted an extraordinary number of missile testing this year. This included an intercontinental missile (ICBM), which was designed to reach America’s mainland.
The North has tested its high-thrust, solid-fuel engine, which experts believe will allow for faster and more mobile ballistic missile launches. This is part of its efforts to create a new strategic weapon, and accelerate nuclear and missile programs.
Pyongyang tested several satellite systems in rocket launches. Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea’s pursuit of spy satellites has stated that it is seeking real-time intelligence on American military actions and those of its allies.
The South Korean presidential office strongly condemned North Korea’s recent launch. It stated that its continual provocations, nuclear and missile developments would only put at risk its regime.