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North Korea confirms “important“ test to develop spy satellite, KCNA says


A woman walks past a TV broadcasting a news report on North Korea firing a ballistic missile off its east coast, in Seoul, South Korea, December 18, 2022. REUTERS/ Heo Ran

North Korea’s state media KCNA said on Monday the country conducted an “important, final phase” test on Sunday for the development of a spy satellite, which it seeks to complete by April 2023.

The report was released a day after the South Korean and Japanese militaries reported the isolated North’s launch of two intermediate-range ballistic missiles towards its east coast.

KCNA said the test, conducted at its Sohae satellite launching station in the northwestern town of Tongchang-ri, was aimed at reviewing the country’s capability of satellite imaging, data transmission and ground control systems.

A vehicle carrying a mock satellite was fired at the “lofted angle” of 500 km (311 miles), it added.

North Korea has conducted an unprecedented number of missile tests this year, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) aimed at reaching the U.S. mainland, in defiance of international sanctions.