North Korea has conducted “another important test” for a reconnaissance satellite, its state media said Sunday, a day after South Korea’s military described the test as a probable ballistic missile launch, this according to a news report in the Korea Herald publication.
The North’s National Aerospace Development Administration and the Academy of Defense Science conducted “another important test on Saturday under the plan of developing a reconnaissance satellite,” the official Korea Central News Agency reported.
“Through the test, the NADA confirmed the reliability of data transmission and reception system of the satellite, its control command system and various ground-based control systems,” it said.
Saturday’s test, which came just days before South Korea’s presidential election Wednesday, was the second such launch in a week to test satellite equipment, and the ninth missile launch this year. The test-firing immediately drew condemnation from the U.S., South Korea and Japan, as observers suspect the North’s satellite launches as a cover for testing long-range ballistic missile technology banned by United Nations Security Council resolutions.
The North’s state media did not elaborate further, nor mention any missile or rocket launches to test such satellite technology.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff on Saturday, March 5th, said the missile, launched at 8:48 a.m. from Sunan, near Pyongyang, flew about 270 kilometers to the east, reaching an altitude of 560 kilometers. The range and other details appeared to be similar to the regime’s February 27 test, which Pyongyang said was for a “reconnaissance satellite,” while neighboring countries countered that it was a ballistic missile launch.
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