North Korea Spy Satellite

A day after regional military agencies confirmed the country’s second ballistic missile launch in a week, North Korea performed another test for reconnaissance satellite systems.


  • The launch was carried out by North Korea’s National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA) and the Academy of Defence Science with the aim of developing a reconnaissance satellite.
  • It was the ninth missile launch this year and the second such launch in a week to test satellite equipment.
  • The launch was met with condemnation from South Korea, the US, and Japan, which fear that North Korea, in the coming months, is preparing to conduct a major weapons test.
  • North Korea’s satellite launches are seen by Japan, the US, and South Korea as thinly veiled tests of ballistic missile technology which has been banned by United Nations Security Council resolutions.
  • A spy satellite is one of many new systems of weapons that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wants to launch in response to what he deems US aggression.
  • To send a reconnaissance satellite into orbit, North Korea has to fire a long-range rocket. However, such a launch has been banned by the UN because it believes that North Korea will use it as a cover to test its long-range missile technology.

What is a Spy Satellite?

An intelligence satellite or reconnaissance satellite sometimes known as a spy satellite unofficially is a communications satellite or Earth observation satellite that is used for military or intelligence purposes. The first generation (Zenit and Corona) took images and then canisters of the photographic film were ejected that fell back into the Earth’s atmosphere. Corona capsules were retrieved while floating down on parachutes in mid-flight. Later, spacecraft were equipped with digital imaging systems and this allowed images to be downloaded over encrypted radio links.



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