N Korea Launches Reconnaissance Satellite To Monitor US Activities
Story Code : 1060947
Ri Pyong Chol, vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission of the North's ruling Workers' Party, said in a statement that the "military reconnaissance satellite No. 1" will be "launched in June," the official Korean Central News Agency [KCNA] reported on Tuesday.
That satellite, along with "various reconnaissance means due to be newly tested, are indispensable to tracking, monitoring...and coping in advance [and] in real time with the dangerous military acts of the US and its vassal forces," the statement said.
Along with its regional allies South Korea and Japan, the United States regularly holds joint war games on the Korean Peninsula, which the North views as rehearsals for invasion of its territory.
The most recent of the military drills began last week, when American and South Korean forces started live-fire exercises simulating an alleged "full-scale attack" from North Korea.
Citing "reckless" acts by Washington and Seoul, Ri said North Korea felt "the need to expand reconnaissance and information means and improve various defensive and offensive weapons" in an effort to bolster its military preparedness.
The official also accused the US of conducting "hostile air espionage activities on the Korean peninsula and in its vicinity."
The development came after Japan said on Monday that it had been informed by Pyongyang about the pending launch, claiming that the launch may be used as a cover by the North to test a ballistic missile.