North Korea Developing New Earth Observation Satellite
Vice-director of the country’s space agency dismisses any linkage between the space program and weapons development.
North Korean space agency officials say the country is developing a more advanced Earth observation satellite and are defending their right to conduct rocket launches whenever they see fit, despite protests by the United States and others that the launches are aimed primarily at honing military-use technologies.
The North launched its first and only satellite in 2012.
The claim that it is working on another, made in an interview last week with an AP television crew in Pyongyang, comes amid a flurry of attention to the country’s fledgling space agency, including a visit by leader Kim Jong Un to a new satellite control center that was repeatedly broadcast on North Korean TV early last month.
Paek Chang Ho, vice director of the scientific research and development department of the North’s space agency, spoke about the new Earth observation satellite.
We are developing a more advanced Earth observation satellite and when it’s complete, before launching it, we will inform international organizations and other countries.
– Paek Chang Ho
Paek did not provide further details of what the satellite will do, how close it is to completion, when development began or when the next launch might be.
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