• Asia-Pacific

North Korea Begins Spy Satellite Mission Work

KCNA via Reuters/file
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un looks on as a rocket carrying a spy satellite Malligyong-1 is launched, as North Korean government claims, in a location given as North Gyeongsang Province, North Korea, in this handout picture obtained by Reuters on Nov. 21.

SEOUL — North Korea on Saturday began operations for its Malligyong-1 reconnaissance satellite from an office in its military satellite control center in Pyongyang, state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Sunday.

It is assumed the report was aimed at stressing that the spy satellite, which was launched Nov. 21, had begun official operations.

According to the KCNA, the operating office will perform its missions as “an independent military intelligence organization.”

Photos and other information received from the satellite are initially reported to the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea. These data are then provided — based on the commission’s instructions — to “major military units” and the general bureau of reconnaissance.

North Korea’s defense ministry said “the war deterrence of the DPRK [North Korea] would assume more perfect military posture.”

Pyongyang has already announced that photos taken by the satellite — including those of U.S. bases in Japan and South Korea — have been shown to leader Kim Jong Un.

In South Korea, some experts questioned the satellite’s capabilities, noting that the resolution of the satellite images may be low.