Kim Jong Un Reportedly Eyeing Major Targets

( – North Korean President Kim Jong Un was reported to be observing potential targets from newly captured satellite images after they launched a spy satellite into orbit on November 21st. The “target regions” included pictures of South Korea, its capital, Seoul, and U.S. military outposts in the region. Pentagon and South Korean officials have not verified that the satellite achieved stable orbit at the time of writing, however.

North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons makes the development ominous.

North Korean state media KCNA reported that Kim was viewing images taken of South Korean cities, including Mokpo and Seoul, as well as U.S. bases in the area. They claimed to have also taken images of the U.S. aircraft carrier Carl Vison, which arrived in the South Korean city of Busan on the 21st.

Kim also inspected shots of the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor as well as Hickam Air Force Base, both located in Hawaii.

KCNA also published North Korean propaganda criticizing the U.S. for giving advanced weaponry to its allies, which it referred to as U.S. “puppets.” They further added that “a small spark” on the Korean peninsula could trigger a nuclear war.

Diplomats from the U.S., Japan, and South Korea all condemned the launch for contributing to the destabilization of the region and suggested it was another attempt by Pyongyang to advance its long-range ballistic missile technology, which could ultimately be used to target U.S. allies or assets with nuclear warheads.

South Korean Defence Minister Shin Wok-sik accused North Koreans of exaggerating their claims of what had already been observed by their satellite. He was quoted saying that even if they established a normal orbit, it would take some time to begin reconnaissance missions, suggesting Pyongyang was lying about their achievements.

Japanese officials issued a warning over their J-Alert system indicating a missile had been fired by North Korea and advising residents in the southern prefecture of Okinawa to seek cover in the event it was an attack. Thankfully that warning seems to have been unnecessary.

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