North Korea says military satellite key to countering U.S. ‘space militarisation’

By Hyonhee Shin

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea’s spy satellite program is an “indispensable” measure to counter U.S. space militarisation aimed at beefing up the United States’ preemptive nuclear strike capability and securing “world supremacy,” state media KCNA said on Tuesday.

Ri Song Jin, whom KCNA described as a researcher of the National Aerospace Technology Administration, accused the United States of seeking greater military hegemony in Asia by expanding its space force in an article titled “U.S. space force deployment aimed at preemptive aggression war”.

Ri singled out a recent trip by the U.S. Space Force commander to Tokyo, and the deployment of a Space Force component in South Korea, where its members took part in joint military drills for the first time this year.

Such moves were “nothing but a camouflaged curtain to cover up the scenario for preemptive attack on the anti-U.S. and independent countries,” Ri said, mentioning North Korea, China and Russia.

“Now that the U.S. is getting hell-bent on space militarisation with a preemptive nuclear attack as its ultimate target by massively introducing space force into the Korean peninsula and its vicinity,” Ri said, “space development, including a military reconnaissance satellite, is an indispensable strategic option for guaranteeing the security interests and right to existence of the DPRK.”

DPRK is the initials of North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

North Korea has failed twice to place a spy satellite in orbit, both in May and August, and has vowed to try again as early as October.

Last month, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un toured Russia’s most modern space launch centre, where President Vladimir Putin promised to help him build satellites.

In another KCNA dispatch, an international affairs commentator named Ra Jong Min denounced Canada’s planned dispatch of military ships, aircraft and personnel for “Operation NEON,” aimed at ensuring implementation of U.N. sanctions against North Korea.

The operation is meant to identify suspected sanctions evasions at sea, including ship-to-ship transfers of fuel and other banned activities.

Ra accused Canada of “jumping into fire with brushwood on its back” due to “blind belief in its American master” despite the ever-growing possibility of a military conflict on the Korean peninsula.

(Reporting by Hyonhee Shin. Editing by Gerry Doyle)