N. Korea Claims 'Important, Final' Spy Satellite Test Conducted on Sun.
Anchor: North Korea has claimed that the medium-range ballistic missile launch it conducted over the weekend was a test to put a military reconnaissance satellite into space. In an apparent bid to back up its claim, it also released two aerial photographs of the Seoul metropolitan area.
Moon Gwang-lip has more.
Report: North Korea said on Monday that it conducted an “important, final phase” test the previous day for the development of a reconnaissance satellite, adding it will complete the development by early next year.
The announcement by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency(KCNA) came after the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff(JCS) said it detected the launch of two medium-range ballistic missiles from the Tongchang-ri area in North Pyongan Province toward the East Sea on Sunday.
Unlike the JCS’s analysis, however, the KCNA quoted a spokesperson for the North’s National Aerospace Development Administration as saying that a vehicle carrying a mock satellite was fired at the loft angle of 500 kilometers from Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in Tongchang-ri.
Arguing that the Sunday test was conducted and aimed at evaluating the regime’s capabilities in satellite imaging, data transmission and ground control system, the North said it will complete preparations for the launch of its first military spy satellite by April. It also released two black and white aerial photos of Seoul and adjacent Incheon in South Korea.
The North had also previously claimed that the launches of Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missiles in February and March were tests for the development of a spy satellite.
Meanwhile, no mention was made of whether North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was involved in Sunday's launch. Kim was not seen during an event on Saturday marking the eleventh anniversary of the death of his father Kim Jong-il at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang.
Moon Gwang-lip, KBS World Radio News.
[Photo : YONHAP News]