N.Korea to launch first military spy satellite

STORY: North Korea will launch its first military reconnaissance satellite in June...to keep watch on U.S. military activities.

That's according to state media KCNA.

Ri Pyong Chol, vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission of the North's ruling Workers' Party, denounced ongoing joint military exercises by the U.S. and South Korea, saying that they openly showed, quote, "reckless ambition for aggression."

U.S. and South Korean forces have carried out various training exercises in recent months.

These included the biggest-ever live fire exercises last week.

Ri said the drills required Pyongyang to have the "means capable of gathering information about the military acts of the enemy in real time."

Pyongyang on Monday said it had completed the development of its first military spy satellite

and that North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un approved final preparations for the launch.

Hong Min, a senior fellow at South's Korea Institute for National Unification, said the launch will improve North Korea's surveillance capability.

“It can be seen as having a kind of eye in the sense of understanding the opponent's military movements. If there is no military reconnaissance satellite, it is like operating a missile without sight. The satellite launch is essential and very important to operate nuclear missiles.”

The North has not given a specific date for the launch of the spy satellite but Pyongyang has notified Tokyo of the planned launch between May 31 and June 11, prompting Tokyo to put its missile defences on alert.

Japan said on Monday it would shoot down any projectile that threatens its territory.

South Korea slammed the North's use of ballistic missile technology as a clear violation of U.N. sanctions.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson said any North Korean launch using ballistic missile technology would violate U.N. resolutions.