NK leader’s sister dismisses doubts about N. Korea’s satellite, ICBM technologies

SEOUL– The sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un issued a statement Tuesday criticizing those who question the secretive regime’s assertion of having made significant progress in its satellite and long-range ballistic missile development.

Kim Yo-jong, vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, took issue with a view among experts in the outside world, including those in South Korea, that low-resolution, black-and-white images of Seoul and Incheon, released by Pyongyang the previous day, are too crude to be satellite photos.

“So-called experts were so keen on finding fault with others that they could not but make such senseless words,” she said in the English-language statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The North claimed its “important, final-stage test of rockets Sunday was part of its military reconnaissance satellite project and made public those two photos, presumed to be taken from a mock satellite.

Some experts here soon said the quality of the imagery is too poor.

Kim said it is “inadequate and imprudent” to assess the North’s satellite development capabilities and relevant preparations with the two photos alone.

She also condemned those who question whether the North has mastered the atmospheric reentry technology for its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

North Korea has fired eight ICBMs so far this year at lofted angles, including the Nov. 18 launch of a Hwasong-17 ICBM. Outside experts believe the North does not appear to have secured the technology to allow warheads to withstand the intense heat during atmospheric reentry.

“To explain to them who have no common sense, we could not receive remote data of the control warhead until it hit a target if the technology for atmospheric re-entry was imperfect,” Kim said.

She hinted at the possibility that the North will fire an ICBM at a normal angle for the verification of its related technology.

“They will immediately recognize it in case we launch an ICBM in the way of real angle firing straight off,” she said. “I think that they would be well advised to halt their nonsense and think twice.”

Kim Yo-jong, the de facto No. 2 figure under the Kim Jong-un regime, has issued hard-worded statements on inter-Korean affairs and other external issues.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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