North Korea Claims Successful Use of Malligyong-1 Spy Satellite

North Korea Claims Successful Use of Malligyong-1 Spy Satellite

Asia North Korea (DPRK) Satellite Space

North Korean state media reported the successful use of a new spy satellite.

Militarnyi reported on this regarding Reuters news agency.

The North Korean propaganda media reported Kim Jong Un had reviewed spy satellite photos of the White House, Pentagon, and U.S. aircraft carriers at the naval base in Norfolk.

In addition, it was reported that the North Korean leader examined images of the South Korean cities of Seoul, Mokpo, Kunsan, Pyeongtaek, Osan, Jinhae, Busan, Ulsan, Pohang, Daegu, and Gangneung.

However, official Pyongyang has not made these satellite images public, keeping the satellite’s capabilities a secret.

It is not known what resolution the new North Korean satellite has. The principle of its operation also remains unknown: it can be photographic, optoelectronic, or radar.

Given the technological limitations of North Korea, it can be assumed that it is a photographic satellite that is being used, but we cannot rule out the possibility of equipping the device with high-quality optics.

Photographic satellites use digital or analog cameras of various resolutions to observe the Earth’s surface.

Such satellites are mostly used for mapping and agricultural purposes (monitoring forests, fields, and water bodies).

Although such satellites are cheap compared to other types, they have a number of issues, including the main ones:

  1. Dependence on lighting: such satellites cannot take high-quality images of the earth’s surface even in natural light. Although some satellites of this type are equipped with multi-channel optics with a special night mode.
  2. Dependence on weather conditions: cloud cover or fog impedes taking photos of the Earth’s surface.
  3. Limited frequency of updates: updates for such satellites are usually not frequent.

Though objects such as the White House, the Pentagon, or aircraft carriers at the Norfolk Naval Base can be seen using low-resolution civilian photographic satellites, the quality of such images is poor.

The Militarnyi editors prepared such satellite images of these objects as of November 16, 2023 (on the 20th-28th, there was cloud cover in the region, although the objects can be seen), which were taken from photographic satellites with a resolution of up to 10 meters per pixel.

The Malligyong-1 satellite was launched into low-Earth orbit on November 21, 2023, by a Chollima-1 launch vehicle. This was the third launch attempt, the previous ones failed.

Militarnyi previously reported that the arsenal of Russian artillery was extended with 120-mm high-explosive mortar shells made in North Korea.

Asia North Korea (DPRK) Satellite Space