North Korean state media reported that the country had successfully placed its first spy satellite into orbit. Photo/Taiwan News
PYONGYANG – North Korean state media reported that the country had successfully placed its first spy satellite into orbit. The launch marks North Korea’s third attempt to place its first surveillance satellite in orbit.
News of the satellite launch broke when South Korean and Japanese government officials issued a warning that a rocket had been launched towards Japan on Tuesday, November 21, 2023. This warning sparked a shelter-in-place effort across the island of Okinawa.
Reuters quoted a report by North Korean news agency KCNA as saying that the Malligyong-1 satellite entered orbit at 22:54 local time. “The launch of reconnaissance satellites is (North Korea’s) legitimate right to strengthen its self-defense capabilities,” KCNA said as quoted by Reuters.
The United States condemned the launch and urged its international partners and allies to do the same. This is because the launch involved technology that supports the country’s intercontinental ballistic missile program.
In a statement, the White House wrote that the launch was a blatant violation of several UN Security Council resolutions, increased tensions, and risked destabilizing the security situation in the region and beyond.
If confirmed, the launch would mark North Korea’s third attempt in recent months to put its first spy satellite in orbit. The first two attempts failed, and the South Korean government claimed to have pulled debris from the sea associated with the launches.
Following the two failed launches, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss how the two countries could work together on spaceflight efforts, including sharing rocket technology.
North Korean reports say the country plans to further launch additional surveillance satellites to help keep tabs on South Korea. Likewise, South Korea is reportedly planning to send its first spy satellite into lunar orbit with a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base.