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State Dept. promises to punish North Korea if illicit satellite is launched

The U.S. State Department is warning it will use “a number of tools” to “hold North Korea accountable” if the nation proceeds with an illicit satellite launch.

Deputy State Department spokesman Vedant Patel addressed the issue regarding the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Wednesday in a press conference.

“Any DPRK launch that uses ballistic missile technology would also include [space launch vehicles] SLVs used to launch a satellite into space and that would violate multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions,” Patel told reporters.

NORTH KOREA LOOKS TO THE FINAL FRONTIER AS KIM JONG UN READIES LAUNCH OF SPY SATELLITE

Patel state department

State Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel speaks during the daily press briefing at the State Department in Washington, D.C., on May 15, 2023.  (Photo by Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“We have also been very clear about our unwavering commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, as well as seeking dialogue with Pyongyang without preconditions,” the spokesman continued.

Though Pyongyang has routinely defied international law when it comes to ballistic missile testing and nuclear development, it plans to take it one step further and use long-range missile technology that has been banned under U.N. Security Council resolutions. 

Kim has argued that the satellite is necessary for space-based reconnaissance and in countering the U.S. and South Korea – which have ramped up joint military exercises in the face of increased aggression and illegal missile testing in North Korea. 

Kim Jong Un satellite tour

In this photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, second right, and his daughter, right, visit the country’s aerospace agency North Korea Tuesday, May 16, 2023. Kim has examined a finished military spy satellite that his country is expected to launch soon. State media said he did so Tuesday during a visit to his country’s aerospace agency where he described space-based reconnaissance as crucial for countering the U.S. and South Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

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Pyongyang’s claims of space capability remain dubious. 

Some South Korean analysts have reportedly argued that the satellite revealed in images by North Korea’s state-controlled media is too small and insufficient to capture high-resolution imagery from space.

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