North Korea announced it had successfully placed its first surveillance satellite into orbit. The US and its allies in the region condemned Pyongyang’s achievement. South Korea said it would resume surveillance operations along the North Korean border in response to the satellite launch.
KCNA, North Korean state media, reported the successful launch. “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea successfully launched the new-type carrier rocket “Chollima-1” loaded with the reconnaissance satellite “Malligyong-1” at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground [on Tuesday,]” the outlet explained. North Korea previously made two failed attempts at placing a satellite into orbit.
Pyongyang’s success was met with ire from Washington and its allies in the Asia-Pacific. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the launch “in the strongest possible terms.” Adding that, “We have already made a strong protest against North Korea.” The US claimed the launch was a “brazen violation” of UN resolutions.
Pyongyang stated that North Korea has a sovereign right to place satellites into orbit. “The launch of [a] reconnaissance satellite is a legitimate right of the DPRK,” KCNA reported. “[The satellite] strengthens self-defensive capabilities,and it will make a significant contribution to definitely ramping up the war preparedness of the armed forces of the Republic in conformity with the security environment created in and around the country owing to the enemies’ dangerous military moves.”
South Korea announced on Wednesday that it was resuming surveillance flights along the North Korean border that were halted by a 2018 agreement between Seoul and Pyongyang. Seoul’s Defense Minister Shin Won-sik explained, “North Korea’s satellite launch is a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions and a serious provocation against [South Korea] and the international community.” South Korean Ministry of National Defense Spokesman Heo Tae-keun stated, “North Korea’s behavior shows again that it has no will to comply with the agreement.”