DPRK hints at satellites launch

Updated: 2015-09-15 00:08


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PYONGYANG -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said Monday that it is accelerating efforts at the final stage of development for satellites for earth observations, hailing its huge progress in research on developing geostationary satellites.

"Successful progress made in reconstructing and expanding satellite launching grounds for higher-level satellite lift-off has laid a firm foundation for dynamically pushing ahead with the nation's development of space science," the official KCNA news agency quoted the anonymous director of the National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA) as saying.

The director made the comments in an interview with the news agency on the country's achievement in space development on the occasion of the 70th founding anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), which falls on Oct. 10, according to the report.

The director stressed that it is a sovereign state's legitimate right for space development for peaceful purposes and the DPRK people "are fully determined to exercise this right no matter what others may say about it."

The KCNA noted that the world will witness more satellites of Songun (military-first) Korea launched into the sky "at the times and locations determined by the WPK Central Committee."

These comments further fuel speculations that Pyongyang may be ready to launch a long-range rocket, or ballistic missile, around the upcoming Oct. 10 grand celebrations.

However, the Republic of Korea (ROK) Defense Minister Han Min-koo said last Thursday that no signs have been detected yet for the DPRK's test-firing of long-range rockets ahead of the 70th anniversary of the party's founding.

The DPRK recently erected a 67-meter-long launch tower for long-range rockets, taller than the previous 50-meter pad, at a Tongchang-ri rocket base in the northwest DPRK.

The country fired a three-stage Unha-3 rocket into the space orbit in December 2012, two months before its third nuclear test.