North Korean spy satellite launch infographic
Graphic shows technical aspects of the spy satellite launch.


North Korea claims successful spy satellite launch

By Jordi Bou

November 22, 2023 - International experts are seeking to verify North Korea’s claim that it has successfully launched its first spy satellite, an effort that South Korea asserts likely included Russian aid.

North Korea’s KCNA state news agency said the Malligyong-1 satellite was launched on a Chollima-1 rocket from the Sohae satellite launch facility at 10:42pm local time and entered orbit 12 minutes later.

Following the launch, South Korea announced it would resume surveillance along its border with the North, thereby taking steps to suspend parts of a deal agreed by the two countries in 2018 aimed at lowering military tensions.

Seoul said this month it had detected signs that North Korea’s space programme was receiving technical assistance from Moscow, after Kim met Putin in Russia’s Far East in September.

Pyongyang had initially said it was planning its third spy satellite launch attempt in October. Some analysts suggested the launch was delayed to make adjustments based on Russian input.

PUBLISHED: 22/11/2023; STORY: Graphic News