DPRK leader Kim Jong Un, KPA brass, and Kim’s daughter watch a rocket artillery drill in Nampo on March 9, 2023.InternationalIndiaAfricaKim Dong-yup, an assistant professor at South Korea’s University of North Korean Studies, has warned not to underestimate Pyongyang.North Korean leader Kim Jong-un announced the development of military satellites during his visit to the State Administration for Space Development on April 18.According to Kim Dong-yup, Kim Jong-un emphasized the importance of developing various types of satellites with different spheres of application, including meteorological, remote Earth sounding, communication, educational, and scientific satellites. The North Korean leader also provided detailed information on the role of military observation satellites, highlighting the relevance of possessing space observation capabilities for monitoring constant shifts and enemy re-deployments, particularly in light of the deployment of numerous US strategic assets on the Korean peninsula.
"Kim Jong-un made it clear that North Korea needs the military observation satellite to provide Korean military forces with accurate coordinates or real-time routes of advance to target enemies by various missiles and other ways of delivering nuclear weapons," professor Kim said.
Kim Jong-un likewise reportedly stressed the need to reinforce the independent defense potential of the country for preemptive military force employment and attached special sense and importance to these measures as a backbone of North Korea’s sovereignty and the right to self-defense. He made it clear that North Korea needs the military observation satellite to provide its military forces with accurate coordinates or real-time routes of advance to target enemies by various missiles and other ways of delivering nuclear weapons. This announcement aligns with the emphasis placed on strengthening deterrent forces at the 6th Expanded Central Military Committee meeting of the 8th Party held on April 10th.
"It is hard to say what the capabilities of the Korean observation satellite are, and some may want to dismiss this as meaningless. We should not overestimate North Korean potential along with underestimating it, which is even more dangerous," the expert warned.
He predicted that the observation satellite deployment will happen between May and September, following all international rules and procedures, including informing the International Maritime Organization and International Electric Communication Unit to ensure the legitimacy of the deployment. As the satellite is both for military and observation, it is likely to be named after Kim Jong-un, rather than having a common name Kwangmyongsong-5.AsiaNorth Korea Vows to ‘Expand and Strengthen’ Offensive Deterrence Capabilities Amid Western Pressures11 April, 19:13 GMTFurthermore, Kim Dong-yup noted that Kim Jong-un was accompanied by leaders from the Technical Intelligence Agency of the North Korean People’s Army, which suggests that it might be controlling these military assets in the future.