November 28, 2023 11:03
The Defense Ministry here on Monday confirmed that a spy satellite North Korea launched last week has entered orbit around the earth.
"The satellite entered stable orbit," a military spokesman said. "Compared to the Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite, which was launched in February of 2016 but veered off its orbit and burned after falling to the earth a few days later, the Malligyong-1 satellite appears to have evolved technologically."
But the ministry remains skeptical of North Korea's claim that the satellite has already beamed back photos of Seoul, Pyeongtaek, Osan and Busan as well as U.S. military installations in Guam and Hawaii.
"It usually takes several months after launch to take photographs, so the North's announcement appears to be for show," a military source said. When the South Korean military analyzed a North Korean spy satellite that crashed into the sea in May "we discovered that the resolution was crude, and it is questionable that such shortcomings could have been overcome in such a short time."
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council in an emergency meeting on Monday discussed its response to North Korea's rocket launch, which violates UNSC sanctions.
The North pre-emptively threatened the UN body, saying in a statement carried by state media that the launch was "a legitimate and just exercise of the right to self-defense aimed at correctly seeing through and thoroughly coping with the grave military moves of the U.S. and its followers."
"To make it crystal-clear that the U.S. and the West's outrageous and illegal interference in the internal affairs of independent sovereign countries" is unacceptable, North Korea will "squarely, unhesitatingly and perfectly exercise its sovereign rights including satellite launch," it added.
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