North Korea claims to have launched a spy satellite into orbit. Analysts say this could strengthen his army
(CNN) — North Korea announced on Wednesday that it had placed its first spy satellite in orbit, and promised to launch new satellites to defend itself from what it called “dangerous military maneuvers carried out by its enemies.”
According to analysts, if the spacecraft succeeds, it could significantly improve North Korea’s military capabilities, among other things, allowing it to target its adversaries’ forces more precisely.
North Korea’s spy satellite is scheduled to begin its official reconnaissance mission on December 1, after a period of detailed adjustments that will last between seven and 10 days, North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency reported on Wednesday.
The satellite, called Malyjeong-1, was launched late Tuesday aboard a new carrier rocket, Chollima-1, according to North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency.
“Launching a reconnaissance satellite is North Korea’s legal right to enhance its right to self-defense,” the KCNA report noted.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited the Pyongyang General Control Center of the National Aerospace Development Administration on Wednesday morning to receive an update on the operational status of the Malyjeong-1 satellite, the reconnaissance satellite that North Korea claims has been placed in orbit, it said. Korean Central News Agency. mentioned.
During the visit, Kim received briefings on photography and air control procedures, according to KCNA.
Kim pointed out that North Korea now has both “eyes” and “fists”, which are more effective in improving the forces’ capabilities and means of attack for self-defense.
Neither South Korea, nor the United States, nor Japan, all countries witnessing increasing military tension with North Korea, were able to confirm the launch of the satellite into orbit.
But South Korea described the missile launch as a “clear violation” of a United Nations Security Council resolution banning North Korea from using ballistic missile technology.
On Wednesday morning, the South Korean government partially suspended the agreement it concluded with North Korea that limits South Korea’s reconnaissance and surveillance activities along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates the two countries.
The rocket carrying the satellite was launched in a southerly direction and is believed to have passed over Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the launch, calling it a “dangerous situation” that “affects the security” of the people of Japan, while reiterating his commitment to continue working with the United States and South Korea to respond to Pyongyang’s launches.
The South Korean military said in a statement on Wednesday that it was following up on preparations for the launch in close cooperation with the United States.
Aegis destroyers from South Korea, the United States and Japan were deployed to track the launch and information on the launch details was carefully analyzed.
Japanese Defense Minister Hiroyuki Miyazawa said that his country is still trying to determine whether the North Korean satellite has reached its orbit.
The third attempt to launch a satellite
Pyongyang attempted for the first time to launch a satellite into orbit at the end of last May, but the second stage of the missile it was carrying malfunctioned and crashed into the sea.
KCNA said the “reliability and stability of the new engine system” was “low” and the fuel used was “unstable,” causing the mission to fail.
The second attempt failed last August, when “an error occurred in the emergency detonation system during the flight of the third stage,” according to a report by the Korean Central News Agency.
This missile broke into several pieces before falling into the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean, according to Japanese officials.
In a challenge letter Before the UN Security Council After the second failed launch, North Korean Ambassador Kim Song insisted that the spy satellite program was within the country’s “legitimate right as a sovereign state.” He denied that North Korea intends to obtain intercontinental ballistic missile technology through satellite launches.
The third attempt on Tuesday night was widely expected and reported by Pyongyang, which earlier this Wednesday promised to carry out more launches.
North Korea’s National Aerospace Development Administration will present a plan to “ensure the reconnaissance capability of the South Korean region… by launching several reconnaissance satellites in a short period of time,” KCNA said.
Pyongyang has said possessing a satellite is a legitimate measure of self-defense against what it says is a series of provocations by the United States, South Korea and Japan.
Earlier this week, North Korea denounced the United States for potentially selling advanced missiles to Japan and military equipment to South Korea, calling it a “dangerous act” in a KCNA report.
North Korea said it was “clear” who the offensive military equipment would be targeted against and against.
Military reinforcement for Pyongyang
Analysts said that having a single satellite in orbit helps strengthen North Korea’s military position.
“If successful, it would improve the command, control, communications, or intelligence and surveillance capabilities of the North Korean military,” said Carl Schuster, a former director of US operations. “This would improve the North’s ability to direct its forces” in any potential conflict. Joint Defense Center, U.S. Pacific Command Intelligence.
“The satellite will give them a capability they previously lacked that can help them select military targets and assess damage,” said Ankit Panda, a nuclear policy expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Panda said lessons learned from Tuesday’s launch will be used in the development of future satellites.
“They will take what they learned from this successful launch and apply it to other launches. They will aim to have a flexible and redundant constellation of Earth observation satellites, which will make a huge difference in (North Korea’s) comprehensive strategic situational awareness capabilities,” he said.
However, others cautioned that the true capabilities of what Pyongyang launched late Tuesday remain to be seen. Some have suggested that North Korea has more to lose from the South resuming intelligence collection along the border than from the satellite launch.
“The drone surveillance operations that Seoul may soon begin along the demilitarized zone should produce more useful information than North Korea’s primitive satellite program,” said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewa University in Seoul.
South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-sikShe announced last Sunday that North Korea is believed to have “almost resolved” its problems related to its rocket engines “with Russia’s help.”
This came after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited Russia in September, when he toured Russian space rocket launch facilities alongside President Vladimir Putin.
At that meetingPutin showed his willingness to help North Korea develop its space and satellite program.
But analyst Panda warned that it cannot be assumed that Russia’s help and advice was decisive in the success of the third launch.
“It seems to me unlikely, given the timelines, that the North Koreans actually received and implemented Russian technical assistance,” he added.
“Let’s also keep in mind that the North Koreans themselves have remarkable capabilities at this point,” he added.