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SEOUL, South Korea – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspected photos taken by the country’s new spy satellite of “major target regions”, including the South Korean capital of Seoul and cities that host United States military bases, state media reported on Saturday, November 25.
Nuclear-armed North Korea launched the satellite on Tuesday, November 21 but South Korean defence officials and analysts said its capabilities have not been independently verified.
Kim examined the photos, as well as imagery taken of some areas within North Korea, during a visit to the control centre of the National Aerospace Technology Administration (NATA) in Pyongyang on Friday, November 24 state news agency KCNA said.
The photos were taken as the satellite passed over the peninsula on Friday morning, KCNA said, and included images of Seoul, and Mokpo, Kunsan, Pyeongtaek and Osan, where US and South Korean military bases are located.
“The NATA reported to Kim Jong Un on the plan for photographing the region of South Korean puppets and the additional fine-tuning process of the reconnaissance satellite,” the report said. That process would continue on Saturday, it said.
In a separate commentary carried by KCNA, North Korea on Saturday criticized the US for providing advanced weapons to its “puppets,” saying that even a small spark on the Korean peninsula would result in a global nuclear war.
“The United States had better ponder on the catastrophic consequences that would be brought by its weapons supplies to puppets,” KCNA said.
The top diplomats of the United States, South Korea, and Japan spoke on Friday and “strongly condemned the (November 21) launch for its destabilizing effect on the region,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement.
Earlier this week KCNA said Kim viewed images taken above the US Pacific territory of Guam of US military installations.
South Korean Defence Minister Shin Won-sik said on Thursday, November 23 that North Korea had “exaggerated” by saying Kim had already viewed images of Guam.
“Even if it enters normal orbit, it takes a considerable time to carry out normal reconnaissance,” Yonhap quoted him as saying at the time. – Rappler.com