North Korea has conducted an “important, final phase” test in the development of a military reconnaissance satellite, which the country plans to complete by April 2023, North Korean state media has reported.
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Monday that North Korea’s National Aerospace Development Administration conducted the test on Sunday at the country’s Sohae satellite launching station in Cholsan, in North Pyongan Province.
A rocket carrying what was described as a “test-piece satellite” — including multiple cameras, image transmitters and receivers, a control device and a storage battery — was launched at a “lofted angle” to an altitude of 500km (311 miles), according to KCNA.
According to KCNA, the test was designed to review satellite imaging capabilities, data transmission, and a ground control system.
“We confirmed important technical indicators such as camera operating technology in the space environment, data processing and transmission ability of the communication devices, tracking and control accuracy of the ground control system,” an unnamed North Korean aerospace spokesperson said in the KCNA dispatch.
North Korea plans to complete “preparations for the first military reconnaissance satellite by April, 2023,” the official said in the KCNA report.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported on Monday that KCNA also released satellite imagery of the South Korean capital “Seoul and its adjacent city of Incheon presumed to be shot from the test-piece satellite”.