30th May, 2023
North Korea will launch its first military reconnaissance satellite in June to monitor US military activities, according to state media KCNA on Tuesday.
Ri Pyong Chol, vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Military Commission, denounced joint military exercises by the US and South Korea in a statement carried by the KCNA news agency as openly displaying their “reckless ambition for aggression.”
Various training exercises have been conducted by US and South Korean forces in recent months, including what they claimed were the largest joint live-fire exercises last week, after many drills were scaled back due to COVID-19 restrictions and hopes for diplomatic efforts with North Korea.
North Korea’s Ri stated that the drills necessitated Pyongyang having “means capable of gathering information about the enemy’s military acts in real time.”
“We will comprehensively consider the present and future threats and put into more thoroughgoing practise the activities for strengthening all-inclusive and practical war deterrents,” Ri said in the statement.
Nuclear-armed North Korea has announced the completion of its first military spy satellite, and leader Kim Jong Un has approved final launch preparations.
Although, the exact launch date was not specified in the statement, North Korea notified Japan of the planned launch between May 31 and June 11, prompting Tokyo to activate its ballistic missile defences.
Japan has stated that it will shoot down any projectile that threatens its territory.
“(North Korea’s) satellite launches incorporate technology that is almost identical and compatible with those used for ballistic missiles, and regardless of the designation used by North Korea, we believe that the one planned for this time also uses ballistic missile technology,” Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said on Tuesday.