US condemns launch of North Korea spy satellite

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The U.S. condemned North Korea’s Tuesday launch of a spy satellite, which Pyongyang claims was successful after previous attempts earlier this year failed.

North Korea successfully launched the reconnaissance satellite, called the Malligyong-1, atop a Chollima-1 rocket in the country’s main launch center Tuesday night, according to state-run news agency Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The claim could not be independently verified. Pyongyang will continue to launch more satellites into space in the future, KCNA reported.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un viewed the claimed successful launch, and Pyongyang believes the satellite will defend the country from threats, including the U.S. and South Korea.

The White House on Tuesday said it “strongly condemns” the launch and that it violated United Nations Security Council resolutions because it used ballistic missile technology, which the U.N. has barred Pyongyang from using.

“The president and his national security team are assessing the situation in close coordination with our allies and partners,” the Biden administration said in a statement. “We urge all countries to condemn this launch and call on [North Korea] to come to the table for serious negotiations.”

Japan and South Korea have raised the alarm after North Korea’s satellite launch, with the Japanese issuing a missile warning for Okinawa.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the launch was a “serious threat that affects the safety of the people” across the region.

North Korea’s space agency, the National Aerospace Technology Administration, said in a statement on Tuesday that the U.S. and its allies have militarized space and it was responding to concerns about its national defense.

“The information warfare by reconnaissance is both a primary process for war preparations and a prerequisite on which depends the victory of war,” the statement read, according to KCNA.

North Korea has been building its nuclear and missile arsenal for years but until this week had struggled to get a satellite into space.

In May, North Korea’s first launch failed after the rocket fell into the ocean, while its second attempt in August failed because of another technical issue.

The Associated Press contributed.

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