North Korea claims successful launch of spy satellite

November 21, 2023

North Korean officials on Tuesday claimed to have successfully launched a spy satellite into space.

State news agency KCNA said the Malligyong-1 satellite had accurately entered orbit, and that leader Kim Jong Un had observed the launch. 

Pyongyang’s last attempt to launch a spy satellite in August failed during lift-off. At the time, KCNA “an error in the emergency explosion system.”

Tuesday’s launch was swiftly condemned by the U.S. and allies. 

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the launch in the “strongest terms,” adding, “Even if the purpose is to launch a satellite, using ballistic missile technology is a clear violation of the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.”

Upon its launch, the satellite reportedly flew over Japan’s Okinawa prefecture and on towards the Pacific Ocean.

The White House similarly described the launch as a “brazen violation” of numerous U.N. resolutions. 

The U.N. Security Council has long banned North Korea from launching satellites because the global organization sees the technology as a pretext for testing Pyongyang’s missile tech.

A spy satellite is of great value to Kim, as it would allow his government to monitor incoming attacks and plot the North Korean military’s own more efficiently.

Back in 2018 Pyongyang had claimed to put a satellite into space but international analysts refuted that claim, stating that it wasn’t true.

PHOTO: Kim Jong Un (right) with North Korea’s Minister of Defense in July

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