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PoliticsNorth Korea

North Korea plans to launch three satellites in 2024

December 31, 2023

Pyongyang has carried out a record amount of missile tests this year. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that it was a "mistake" to try to reunify with Seoul and warned of the risk of "war" in the peninsula.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at Workers' Party of Korea meeting
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un dismissed the possibility of reunification with the south at a meeting that saw the announcement of the launch of three satellitesImage: KCNA/REUTERS

North Korea plans to launch three satellites in 2024, state media reported on Sunday.

Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that it is a "mistake" to pursue unification with the south.

Pyongyang announces satellite plan at party meeting

"The task of launching three additional reconnaissance satellites in 2024 was declared" as one of the key policy decisions for 2024 at a party meeting, the KCNA news agency said.

The meeting lasted for five days and was attended by Kim.

North Korea has carried out a record number of weapons tests in 2023 and aims to increase its military capabilities. This month, it launched its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile.

North Korea also announced plans to build unmanned drones and develop electronic warfare capabilities, as well as to strengthen nuclear and missile forces.

Japan, South Korea and Washington have stepped up cooperation in reaction to Pyongyang's increased missile tests. The three countries have recently activated a system to share real-time data on North Korean missile launches.

North Korea has previously described Washington's participation in joint drills on the Korean peninsula as a "provocation."

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks at end-of-year Workers' Party meeting
Kim denounced 'confrontational' actions by 'enemy forces' while warning against reconciliation with South KoreaImage: Yonhap/picture alliance

Kim dismisses unification with south, warns of 'war'

North Korea's leader said that Pyongyang would no longer seek unification with Seoul.

"I believe that it is a mistake that we should no longer make to consider the people who declare us as the 'main enemy'... as someone to seek reconciliation and unification with," Kim was cited by KCNA as saying.

"Because of reckless moves by the enemies to invade us, it is a fait accompli that a war can break out at any time on the Korean peninsula," he said.

He accused Washington of posing "various types of military threat" and ordered North Korea's military to maintain "overwhelming war response capability."

"We must respond quickly to a possible nuclear crisis and continue to accelerate preparations to pacify the entire territory of South Korea by mobilising all physical means and forces, including nuclear force, in case of emergency," he said.

"If we look closely at the confrontational military actions by the enemy forces .... the word 'war' has become a realistic reality and not an abstract concept," Kim said.

He said that South Korea had been transformed into a "forward military base and nuclear arsenal" of the United States.

sdi/lo (AFP, Reuters)