Lazy eyes listen
North Korea claims it has finished construction on its first reconnaissance satellite and is ready for its first launch, emphasizing the need to strengthen its military capabilities in the face of persistent threats from the United States and South Korea.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presented the new military satellite on Tuesday, one day after visiting the country’s space development agency, claiming the technology will boost Pyongyang’s “war deterrence” in light of Washington and Seoul’s “anti-DPRK military posture.”
“Under these conditions, it is only natural for our state to develop military deterrence commensurate with the current… security environment, and acquiring and operating military reconnaissance means is critical in enhancing our military effectiveness,” Kim said, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The leader stated that successfully launching the spy satellite, which he simply referred to as “military reconnaissance satellite No. 1,” is currently the military’s “most critical primary task,” stressing that its first flight into space is expected for later this month.
Last December, Kim stated that North Korea has conducted a “important final-stage” test for launching a reconnaissance satellite into orbit, implying that the military has made gradual progress on the new technology.
Pyongyang has conducted a spate of weapons tests in recent months in reaction to joint US-South Korean military games, which it regards as a rehearsal for an invasion, and has promoted many new weapons. In March, the DPRK demonstrated an underwater drone capable of creating “radioactive tsunamis,” and last week it claimed to have successfully tested its new Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
Washington and Seoul have consistently condemned the North’s nuclear tests, but have refused to reduce military exercises on the Korean Peninsula, claiming that the live-fire drills are entirely defensive in nature.