North Korea — officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) — warned early Saturday morning that any interference with its spy satellite would be a “declaration of war.”
“Any attack on space asset of DPRK will be deemed declaration of war against it,” a statement by a spokesperson for North Korea’s defense ministry reads, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency.
North Korea reportedly launched their spy satellite, known as the Malligyong-1, at the end of last month after two failed attempts. The North Korean government claimed the satellite photographed the White House last week, KCNA reported.
The Biden administration “strongly condemned” the purported launch, arguing it violated United Nations Security Council resolutions because it used ballistic missile technology — which the U.N. has barred North Korea from using.
“The president and his national security team are assessing the situation in close coordination with our allies and partners,” the Biden administration said in a statement at the time. “We urge all countries to condemn this launch and call on [North Korea] to come to the table for serious negotiations.”
The DPRK spokesman said Saturday that if the United States military deemed the satellite as a “military threat,” North Korea would turn its ire on U.S. satellites.
“If the reconnaissance satellite of the DPRK is regarded by the U.S. as a ‘military threat’ that must be gotten rid of, countless spy satellites of the U.S. flying above the Korean peninsula region every day, exclusively tasked with monitoring the major strategic spots of the DPRK, should be deemed the primary targets to be destroyed by the armed forces of the DPRK,” they wrote.
“In case the U.S. tries to violate the legitimate territory of a sovereign state by weaponizing the latest technologies illegally and unjustly, the DPRK will consider taking responsive action measures for self-defense to undermine or destroy the viability of the U.S. spy satellites by exercising its legitimate rights vested by international and domestic laws,” the spokesperson added.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held a celebration after the launch, claiming it “had propelled the country into a new era of space power.”