The big announcement tonight: North Korea confirms launch of military spy satellite in June
Sylvie Claire / June 1, 2023
North Korea confirmed on Tuesday that it will launch a military spy satellite in June, in order to "confront dangerous US military actions", according to the official KCNA agency.
The "military reconnaissance satellite number 1" will be "launched in June", in order to "confront the dangerous military actions of the United States and its vassals", according to Ri Pyong Chol, vice-chairman of the ruling party's Central Military Commission, quoted by KCNA.
On Monday, Japan announced that it had been informed by North Korea of a forthcoming satellite launch, a project which the Japanese government believed to conceal a ballistic missile launch.
According to Tokyo, Pyongyang has told the Japanese coastguard that a rocket will be launched between May 31 and June 11, and is expected to land in an area near the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and east of Luzon Island in the Philippines.
North Korea has already tested ballistic missiles in 2012 and 2016, which it described as satellite launches and which flew over the island department of Okinawa in southern Japan.
The development of a reconnaissance satellite was one of Pyongyang's key defense projects unveiled last year by Kim Jong Un.