Kim Jong Un has directed officials in North Korea to speed up the preparations for the launch of the country's first military reconnaissance satellite. The move comes amid increasing tensions in the Korean Peninsula.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that the development of his country's first spy satellite is now complete and he has ordered officials to launch it as planned, state media said on Wednesday.
While visiting the National Aerospace Development Administration on Tuesday, Kim ordered for the deployment of multiple reconnaissance satellites on different orbits. He said that ramping up reconnaissance capabilities is a priority to counter "threats" from the United States and South Korea, according to the official news agency KCNA.
Kim has asked officials to expedite the preparations for the launch of the satellite, according to the KCNA's report which did not specify the scheduled date for the launch of the military reconnaissance satellite.
He also accused the United States of converting South Korea into "an advanced base for aggression" and stressed that "securing real-time information about the hostile forces' military scenario" is the "most important" task for North Korea.
A spy satellite is among a wide range of high-tech weapons North Korea has been developing.
Flared up tensions in the Korean Peninsula
South Korea and the United States have increased joint military drills in the area in their efforts to curb North Korea's growing nuclear threat. The two countries launched a 12-day aerial drill that involved 110 warplanes last week.
Meanwhile, Pyongyang has conducted about 100 rounds of missile tests since the start of last year. The confirmation from Kim about the development of the reconnaissance satellite comes just days after it successfully test-fired a solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile.
The North Korean leader has often cited South Korea and the US' military expansions in the region as the reason behind boosting its own military capabilities.
"As the U.S. and South Korea are scheming to further tighten their military posture against the DPRK ... it is quite natural for the DPRK to develop its military deterrence strong enough to cope with the serious security environment at present and in the future," Kim said, according to KCNA.