The country's state-run media outlet, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), released a statement from the regime, explicitly threatening retaliation against the United States if the satellite is targeted.
The statement read, "In case the U.S. tries to violate the legitimate territory of a sovereign state by weaponizing the latest technologies illegally and unjustly, the DPRK will consider taking responsive action measures for self-defense to undermine or destroy the viability of the U.S. spy satellites." This statement was attributed to a spokesperson from North Korea's defense ministry.
Last month, the regime of Kim Jong Un announced the successful launch of a military spy satellite into orbit, marking the country's third attempt. Intelligence sources suggest that Russia played a role in assisting North Korea with the satellite's construction and launch.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff acknowledged the apparent success of the Malligyong-1 satellite launch into orbit. However, they refrained from confirming whether the satellite was operational.
North Korea's assertive stance on the inviolability of its satellite was further underscored by a commentary piece penned by international affairs analyst Kang Jin Song for KCNA. Song cautioned that unwelcome intervention by the U.S. could ignite an "unexpected clash" in East Asia, leading to a "catastrophic situation."
Song wrote, "In case an unexpected clash happens in the Northeast Asian region around the Korean peninsula, the U.S., which has continuously put pressure on the security space of the DPRK by escalating military threat and blackmail, will be held wholly accountable for the catastrophic situation."
On November 24, Kim Jong Un visited the Pyongyang General Control Centre of the National Aerospace Technology Administration to gain insights into the use of the spy satellite. KCNA reported, "Kim Jong Un learned in detail about the photos of major target areas in the enemy region, including Mokpho, Kunsan, Phyongthaek, Osan and Seoul, and of various regions in the country, taken by the reconnaissance satellite while passing through the Korean Peninsula from 10:15 to 10:27 a.m. that day."