Pyongyang says it’ll retaliate and target American spacecraft if Washington interferes with North Korea’s new spy satellite
Pyongyang will view any interference with its recently-launched satellite as a declaration of war and will respond accordingly, a spokesperson for the North Korean Ministry of Defence warned on Saturday.
The statement followed a comment by the US Space Forces Public Affairs Officer Sheryll Klinkel when answering a question from Radio Free Asia about Washington’s ability to counter North Korea’s first spy satellite. “Joint Force space operations could deny an adversary’s space and counterspace capabilities and services using a variety of reversible and irreversible means, reducing the effectiveness and lethality of adversary forces across all domains,” Klinkel said.
The spokesperson for North Korea’s defense ministry warned that “any attack on [a] space asset of [the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] will be deemed declaration of war against it.”
Pyongyang’s Malligyong-1 satellite is “the territory of the DPRK, where its sovereignty is exercised” in line with international treaties on space exploration. This means that an attack against the craft will be treated as an attack against North Korea itself, the statement pointed out.
If there is any interference with Malligyong-1, “countless spy satellites of the US flying above the Korean peninsula region every day, exclusively tasked with monitoring the major strategic spots of the DPRK, should be deemed primary targets to be destroyed,” it warned.
“By openly unveiling its aggression scheme to mount a military attack on a space asset of another sovereign country… the US has [shown] its true colors as the chief culprit of evils, seeking to realize its wild ambition of dominating the world by turning outer space, the common wealth of humankind, into a theater of war,” the defense ministry spokesman said.
Malligyong-1 was launched by North Korea on November 21, with Pyongyang claiming that it has already been able to take pictures of the White House, the Pentagon and several US naval bases.
Washington condemned North Korea’s launch, arguing that it violated the international ban on Pyongyang’s ballistic missile technology. On Thursday, the US Treasury Department announced more sanctions against North Korea, targeting foreign-based agents, whom it accuses of helping the country to evade the restrictions.
On Friday, South Korea, also put its first domestically-made spy satellite into orbit, having previously relied on the US to deploy its space assets. The craft is said to be capable of detecting objects as small as 30 centimeters wide (about a foot wide).
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