North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un has reviewed images taken by his country’s new spy satellite of “major target regions,” including the US military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and sites across South Korea.
The North successfully put a military spy satellite into orbit earlier this week, but South Korea said it was too early to determine if the satellite was functioning as the North claims.
Experts believe that putting a working reconnaissance satellite into orbit would improve North Korea’s intelligence-gathering capabilities, particularly over South Korea, and provide crucial data in any military conflict.
Pyongyang claimed that Kim was shown photos of US military bases in Guam taken by the satellite, named “Malligyong-1.”
On Saturday, the North claimed Kim inspected images taken as the satellite passed over Hawaii at around 5 am, including those of a naval base in the Pearl Harbor and the Hickam air-force base in Honolulu.
Kim also reviewed the satellite’s images of the South Korean port city of Busan, which Pyongyang said were taken at around 10 am on Saturday.
The North’s satellite launch has prompted the two Koreas to suspend a five-year-old military accord established to de-escalate tensions on the peninsula.
The top diplomats of South Korea, Japan, and the United States condemned the launch for its destabilizing effect on the region after a joint phone call.
Seoul’s spy agency has said that Pyongyang received help from Moscow for this week’s successful launch.