Kim Jong Un Reviews Satellite Photos of US Bases in Hawaii, South Korea: State Media

Kim Jong Un Reviews Satellite Photos of US Bases in Hawaii, South Korea: State Media

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – North Korean state media said Saturday that leader Kim Jong Un has reviewed images taken by his country’s new spy satellite of “major target regions” including the US military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and sites across South Korea.

Pyongyang successfully put a military spy satellite into orbit earlier this week, but South Korea said it was too early to determine if the satellite was functioning as the North claims, AFP reported.

Experts have said putting a working reconnaissance satellite into orbit would improve North Korea’s intelligence-gathering capabilities, particularly over South Korea, and provide crucial data in any military conflict.

Pyongyang previously claimed, within hours of the Tuesday launch, that Kim was shown photos of US military bases in Guam taken by the satellite, named “Malligyong-1.”

On Saturday, the North claimed Kim inspected images taken as the satellite passed over Hawaii at around 5 am, including those of “a naval base in the Pearl Harbor, the Hickam air-force base in Honolulu,” according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.

Kim also reviewed the satellite’s images of the South Korean port city of Busan, which Pyongyang said were taken at around 10 am on Saturday.

The photos included ones of the US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, Pyongyang claimed.

Carl Vinson had arrived at the Busan Naval Base on Tuesday, according to Seoul’s military.

In an earlier report on Saturday, KCNA said Kim had the day before reviewed the satellite’s images of “major target regions” in the South, including its capital and cities hosting US military bases.

The Friday images also included some areas of North Korea, it added.

Among the South Korean cities mentioned, Pyeongtaek — around 60 kilometers from Seoul — hosts Camp Humphreys, the largest overseas US military installation in the world.

Pyeongtaek is also home to the Osan Air Base, which houses Seoul’s Air Force Operations Command as well as a US Air Force base.

The North’s satellite launch has since prompted the two Koreas to suspend — the South only partially — a five-year-old military accord established to de-escalate tensions on the peninsula.

Separately, the top diplomats of South Korea, Japan and the United States on Friday “strongly condemned the launch for its destabilizing effect on the region” after a joint phone call, the US State Department said in a statement.

The launch “used ballistic missile technology in violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions,” it said.

Seoul’s spy agency has said that Pyongyang, after two failed attempts to put a satellite in orbit earlier this year, received help from Moscow for this week’s successful launch.

North Korea’s National Aerospace Technology Administration would continue “additional fine-tuning” of the spy satellite’s functions on Saturday, KCNA said.

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