Through a statement released by the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA), Ri Pyong-chol, vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party, said that a military reconnaissance satellite would be launched in June to monitor military acts of the U.S. and its allies.
"Under the present situation brought by the reckless military acts by the U.S. and South Korea, we steadily feel the need to expand reconnaissance and information means and improve various defensive and offensive weapons and have the timetables for carrying out their development plans." Ri defended Pyongyang on launching a space rocket that could be mistaken by the international society for an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
South Korea will host "Eastern Endeavor 23," an anti-proliferation naval military drill involving the U.S. and Japan, on May 31. According to Ri, North Korea felt the need to secure reliable reconnaissance and information on enemy military activities due to increased tension caused by Washington and its allied forces.
Ri did not disclose a detailed launch schedule for Pyongyang's very first military spy satellite, but North Korea previously notified the office of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in Japan that a rocket carrying a satellite will be launched between midnight May 31 and midnight June 11.
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