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North Korea: North Korea plans for three more reconnaissance satellites as it sets policy goals

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SEOUL- North Korea says policy goals for next year includes launching three additional military reconnaissance satellites and building unmanned aerial vehicles to advance North Korea’s military, state media KCNA reported on Sunday.

“Based on the experience of successfully launching and operating the first reconnaissance satellite in 2023, the task of launching three additional reconnaissance satellites in 2024 was declared to vigorously promote the development of space science and technology,” the report said at a major policy-setting year-end meeting presided by leader Kim Jong Un.

The plan was laid out as part of Kim’s address to the meeting, in which he said the country has no choice but to press forward with his nuclear ambitions and forge deeper ties with anti-U.S. countries as Pyongyang is facing unprecedented confrontational moves by the U.S., a reference that likely includes Russia.

Kim also said Pyongyang has now ruled out the possibility of unifying with South Korea, adding the country must fundamentally change its principle and direction towards South Korea.

North Korea says it successfully launched its first military spy satellite on Nov. 21, transmitting photos of the White House, the Pentagon, U.S. military bases and “target regions” in South Korea.

That successful launch was preceded by two failed attempts last year when its new Chollima-1 rocket crashed into the sea. The move raised regional tensions and sparked fresh sanctions from the U.S., Australia, Japan and South Korea. Pyongyang has yet to release any imagery from the new satellite, leaving analysts and foreign governments to debate its capabilities. The apparent success also came after Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to help North Korea build satellites. South Korean officials said Russian aid likely made a difference in the success of the mission, though experts said it was unclear how much help Moscow could have provided.

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