KOREA NEWS North Korea says satellite to start reconnaissance mission from...

North Korea says satellite to start reconnaissance mission from Dec.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, second from right, is pictured during a visit to the Pyongyang General Control Center of the National Aerospace Technology Administration on Nov. 22, 2023. (KCNA/Kyodo)


SEOUL (Kyodo) — North Korea announced Wednesday that a military reconnaissance satellite launched the previous day will officially begin its mission on Dec. 1, following a seven to 10-day fine-tuning process.


South Korea said later in the day it has assessed that North Korea’s military reconnaissance satellite entered orbit, though the Joint Chiefs of Staff added that additional time and analysis are needed to determine whether it is working properly there.


North Korea’s official media reported that the Malligyong-1 spy satellite successfully attained orbit, and leader Kim Jong Un was briefed on its operation during a visit to the control center.


Kim also viewed aerospace photos of U.S. military bases in Guam, including the Anderson Air Force Base, sent from the satellite at the Pyongyang General Control Center of the National Aerospace Technology Administration, the Korean Central News Agency said.


The North Korean leader noted that the country’s armed forces have acquired “‘eyes’ overlooking a very long distance,” according to the report.


Meanwhile, the Group of Seven foreign ministers issued a statement condemning “in the strongest terms North Korea’s launch using ballistic missile technology” as “this action poses a grave threat to the peace and stability of the region and beyond.”


“Any launch using ballistic missile technology, even if it is characterized as a military reconnaissance satellite, constitutes a clear, flagrant violation” of relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions, the G7 statement said.


The resolutions imposing economic sanctions on North Korea have banned the nation from using ballistic missile technology.


Amid growing speculation that Russia and North Korea have been bolstering military cooperation, the G7 ministers also said they are “deeply concerned about the potential for any transfer of nuclear- or ballistic missile-related technology to North Korea.”

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