PYONGYANG: North Korea said today that it would consider any interference with its satellite operations a declaration of war and would mobilise its war deterrence if any attack against its strategic assets were imminent.
Pyongyang would respond to any US interference in space by eliminating the viability of US spy satellites, state media KCNA reported, citing a statement from North Korea’s defence ministry spokesman.
“If the United States tries to interfere with the rights of a sovereign state by weaponising its cutting-edge technology…we will exercise our rights under international and domestic laws to reduce and eliminate the viability of US reconnaissance satellites,” the statement said.
North Korea says it successfully launched its first military spy satellite on Nov 21, transmitting photos of military installations in the US mainland, Japan, and the US territory of Guam.
A US Space Command spokesman, asked if Washington had the capability to interrupt the North Korean satellite’s reconnaissance operations, said the US could deny an adversary’s space capabilities using a variety of means, according to US broadcaster RFA.
The US on Thursday targeted North Korea with fresh sanctions after the launch, designating foreign-based agents it accused of facilitating sanctions evasion to gather revenue and technology for its weapons of mass destruction programme.
South Korea yesterday blacklisted 11 North Koreans for involvement in the country’s satellite and ballistic missile development, banning them from financial transactions.