The sister of the North Korean leader assured this Thursday, June 1, that his country will soon succeed in putting a military reconnaissance satellite into orbit, the day after the failure of the launch of a satellite that crashed into the sea.
Pyongyang had announced on Monday a plan to launch a spy satellite in June to monitor the growing US military presence in the region, citing recent military maneuvers with Seoul. The rocket crashed into the sea on Wednesday due to a deep loss and plunged with its satellite payload, state media said.
Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un's powerful sister, said Pyongyang will conduct a second test as soon as possible. "It is certain that the military reconnaissance satellite of the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea, editor's note) will be properly put into orbit in the near future and will be able to start its mission," she said.
Pyongyang has released photos of what it says is the new Chollima-1 satellite-carrying rocket taking off from a launch site on the shoreline. The wide and round upper part of Chollima, name given in reference to a winged horse belonging to mythology and very present in the propaganda of the country, seems to contain the satellite.
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Seoul, Tokyo, Washington and Paris condemned Wednesday's launch, saying it violates UN resolutions banning Pyongyang from testing ballistic missile technology, much the same as launching satellites. Kim Yo-jong said the criticism was "contradictory," given that Washington and other countries have already launched "thousands of satellites." "The United States is a gangster who claims that even if the DPRK launches a satellite into space orbit using a balloon, it is illegal and (poses) a threat," she said in a statement released by KCNA, the state agency.
According to analysts, a spy satellite in orbit would allow North Korea to target US and South Korean forces more accurately. "A satellite for military purposes can collect intelligence, geolocate and attack enemy satellites. This is space warfare," Chun In-bum, a retired South Korean army general, told AFP. Since an escalation of tensions in 2019 with its neighbor, North Korea has accelerated its military development and declared itself an "irreversible" nuclear power.