Sister of Kim Jong-un slams critics of North Korea spy satellite

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Kim Yo-Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has blasted claims by foreign experts that spy satellite images were of too poor quality for surveillance, calling it “dog barking”. It comes after the country launched a test satellite for the development of its first military spy satellite, and tested a solid-fuelled motor to be used on a more mobile intercontinental ballistic missile in the past several days.

Kim Yo-Jong used the terms “dog barking”, “rubbish” and “malicious disparaging” to describe outside assessments of North Korea’s spy satellite development. 

North Korea had said its rocket launches last Sunday were tests of systems for its first military reconnaissance satellite and released two low-resolution photos of South Korean cities as viewed from space.

But experts in South Korea and elsewehere have said the photos were too unprofessional for surveillance purposes. 

They explained the launches were likely to be a cover for North Korea’s missile technology. 

South Korea’s military maintained North Korea fired two medium-range ballistic missiles.

Kim Yo-jong said the test satellite carried a commercial camera because there was no reason to use an expensive, high-resolution camera for a single-shot test.

She said North Korea used two old missiles as space launch vehicles.

Kim Yo-jong, she told state media: “Didn’t they think their assessments are too inadequate and imprudent as they commented on our satellite development capability and related preparations only with two photos that we’ve published in our newspaper.”

Spy satellites are among several examples of high-tech weapons systems which Kim Jong-Un has acquired as part of a vow to better cope with “US hostility”. 

Other weapons Kim wants to build are multi-warhead missiles, solid-fuelled long-range missiles, underwater-launched nuclear missiles, nuclear-powered submarines and hypersonic missiles.

Some experts believe North Korea would eventually use such modern weapons systems and an enlarged nuclear arsenal to pressure the US to win sanctions relief and other concessions.

Kim’s sister dismissed the South Korean government’s analysis which concluded that North Korea still has key remaining technological hurdles to overcome for functioning ICBMs that can reach the US mainland — such as the ability to protect its warheads from the harsh conditions of atmospheric re-entry.

All of North Korea’s ICBM tests have been performed at a steep angle to avoid neighbouring countries and some experts have said without the standard-trajectory launch of ICBMs, the reliability of North Korean weapons cannot be guaranteed.

Responding to those claims, Kim Yo-jong suggested North Korea might fire an ICBM at a normal trajectory, a launch that would be a much bigger provocation to the US as the weapon would fly towards the Pacific Ocean.

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