Wednesday, April 17, 2024

South Korea’s first spy satellite sends clear images of Pyongyang

South Korea’s maiden military spy satellite has achieved a milestone by transmitting clear images of central Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, following its launch in December.

The first South Korean military spy satellite was successfully placed into orbit from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on December 2.

Sources within the military disclosed that the electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) satellite has commenced transmitting satellite imagery of various North Korean regions, including the capital city of Pyongyang, as part of its initial test transmissions.

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Preliminary assessments of the transmitted satellite photos indicate that the resolution meets expectations, with clear visibility of Pyongyang’s central area and vessels at a port captured in the images.

While the current images undergo significant editing, the satellite is anticipated to deliver higher-resolution images starting next month, according to additional sources.

Specific details regarding the subjects photographed in the images were not disclosed due to intelligence considerations. However, it is noteworthy that central Pyongyang encompasses key government facilities, including the headquarters of the Workers’ Party of Korea, where the office of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is situated.

The satellite is projected to transition into its full reconnaissance mission phase by June or July as initially planned, significantly enhancing South Korea’s independent monitoring capabilities of North Korea.

Upon reaching its operational phase, the indigenous satellite is expected to diminish South Korea’s reliance on U.S. satellite imagery for intelligence on North Korea, thereby bolstering Seoul’s autonomy in monitoring activities across the Korean Peninsula.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Gu Min Chul
Gu Min Chul
Gu Min Chul is a defense reporter who covers the Korean defense industry and all related issues.

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