DPRK leader Kim Jong Un, KPA brass, and Kim’s daughter watch a rocket artillery drill in Nampo on March 9, 2023.InternationalIndiaAfricaOn April 12, the International Day of Human Space Flight, a day that marks the first human space flight by Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, North Korea said its space program was making progress in line with the Outer Space Treaty that says sovereign states have the right to use outer space peacefully.North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered his officials to proceed as planned with the launch of the country’s first military reconnaissance satellite, state media detailed Wednesday. Kim made the comments after inspecting the country’s space development agency on Tuesday. Last month, Pyongyang stated it planned to launch the satellite by the end of April.The development of North Korea’s space program is a priority for the regime, Kim said, explaining it is necessary for the country to become a powerhouse in the world economically, militarily and scientifically. The leader said the military satellite is specifically needed to counter the threat stemming from strengthening ties between South Korea and the United States.AsiaNorth Korea Vows to ‘Expand and Strengthen’ Offensive Deterrence Capabilities Amid Western Pressures11 April, 19:13 GMTKim said that the most important task for the military satellite was “securing real-time information about the hostile forces’ military scenario,” an apparent reference to South Korea and the United States. The North Korea leader previously denounced the deployment of US military assets to South Korea, which Kim said was an attempt to turn South Korea into “an advance base for aggression and an arsenal for war.”In December, North Korea released black-and-white photos of South Korea’s capital Seoul and a nearby seaport. It said at the time that the photos were from a “test-piece satellite.” During that same month, it said it was in the “final phase” of testing its spy satellite and it expected its first launch to be completed by April.While Kim said the satellite is ready, he did not provide a specific date that it will be launched – only that it was on pace to hit the April deadline.


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