North Korean state media confirmed the launch of two medium-range ballistic missiles, detected yesterday by the South Korean army, defining it as a “significant test”, framed in the “final phase” of the development of a spy satellitewhich will be completed in April 2023.
According to state agency KCNA, “an open-angle test satellite was launched at a height of 500 kilometers equipped with a panchromatic camera for a test with a resolution of 20 meters, two multispectral cameras, video transmitter, transmitters and receivers of different bands, control devices and batteries”.
Experts believe the development of this type of satellite could serve as a cover for Pyongyang to test intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), which largely share the same technology.
The launch of the satellite was detected yesterday by the South Korean army which reported two medium-range ballistic missiles coming from Tongchang-ri, where the Sohae site is located, from where the regime tested a new solid fuel engine last Thursday intends to use for future long-range missiles.
According to the KCNA, the test carried out yesterday was able to validate “important technical (elements)”, in particular the capture of images from space as well as the processing and transmission of data via communication devices.
Rodong Sinmun, the official Workers’ Party newspaper of North Korea, has published two black-and-white photographs that appear to show South Korea seen from space, perhaps to show that the North is pushing to monitor its rival with its advanced technologies.
The launch came the day after the commemoration of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, on the eleventh anniversary of his death.
North Korea launches satellite – spy
Pyongyang conducted a record series of weapons tests this year, including its most advanced ICBM, despite pandemic-related economic woes and pressure from the United States to curb its nuclear program.
During the week, the country announced that it had successfully conducted a test of a solid fuel propulsion to develop a new weapon system.
In reaction to North Korea’s test activities, South Korean and US militaries have expanded their regular exercises, and have also resumed training with Japan.