North Korea says latest launches tested 1st spy satellite

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Monday it fired a test satellite in an important final-stage test for the development of its first spy satellite, a key military capability coveted by its leader Kim Jong Un along with other high-tech weapons systems.

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency also released low-resolution, black-and-white photos showing a space view of the South Korean capital and Incheon, a city just west of Seoul, in an apparent attempt to show the North is pushing to acquire a surveillance tool to monitor its rivals.

The rocket carrying the test satellite was launched Sunday to assess the satellite’s photography and data transmission systems, KCNA said.

The country’s National Aerospace Development Administration called the test results “an important success which has gone through the final gateway process of the launch of reconnaissance satellite.” It said it would complete the preparations for its first military reconnaissance satellite by April next year, according to KCNA.

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