North Korea said it planned to launch its first military spy satellite in June, noting that the military equipment was needed due to “reckless” US military exercises with South Korea.
Ri Pyong Chol, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers’ Party in the North, said in a statement carried by state media that the ongoing military exercises between South Korea and the United States reveal “their reckless ambition of aggression”. The United States and South Korea have participated in military exercises over the past month, including last week when they held large live-fire drills near the North Korean border.
Ri’s statement said North Korea’s reconnaissance satellite will be launched sometime in June and will be used to “enhance the military readiness of the armed forces of the [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea].” He repeatedly denounced the US drills as “dangerous” and “reckless” in his statement and accused the United States of carrying out “hostile aerial spy activities” near the country.
“In the current situation caused by the reckless military acts of the United States and South Korea, we constantly feel the need to expand reconnaissance and information capabilities and improve various defensive and offensive weapons and have the timelines for carrying out their development plans,” Ri said. .
“We will thoroughly examine present and future threats and more thoroughly practice comprehensive and practical war deterrent enhancement activities,” Ri added.
The Associated Press reported that South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Lim Soo-suk urged North Korea not to launch its military spy satellite, calling North Korea’s decision of “absurd”.
“It is absurd to use our legitimate joint exercises and the maintenance of the joint South Korea-United States defense posture to respond to the advance of North Korean nuclear and missile threats, as an excuse to launch a satellite of recognition,” Lim said during a briefing.
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