North Korea decries US support for South Korea spy satellite launch as ‘double standard’

North Korea on Monday accused the United States of perpetuating “illegal double standards” by supporting South Korea’s spy satellite launch last week while rebuking Pyongyang for its such launch the previous week.

South Korea successfully placed its first reconnaissance satellite into orbit Friday, a move hailed by its government as a historic first. In the past, the country has relied, at least in part, on the United States to supply surveillance of North Korea.

The satellite was the first of five that South Korea plans to send to space by 2025, as part of an agreement with SpaceX.

The United States, the United Nations and Western allies all condemned North Korea’s launch of a spy satellite late last month, claiming it violated U.N. Security Council resolutions that prohibit North Korea from conducting any launches that use ballistic missile technology.

A spokesperson for North Korea’s National Aerospace Technology Administration (NATA) issued a statement Monday pushing back on criticism, claiming it is “as clear as noonday” that South Korea plans to use its satellite for military purposes.

“It is a space-level tragicomedy that the United States, going frantic with illegal denunciation and sanctions moves over the exercise of the sovereignty of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, has shown behavior based on double standards by launching a spy satellite of the ‘Republic of Korea’ in a shameless manner,” the statement read, as reported by North Korea’s state-run media organization, KCNA.

The United States, the spokesperson continued, “impudently argues that the satellite launch by the Republic of Korea is different in its character in the aspect of ‘observing international law’ while asserting that the DPRK’s satellite launch is a ‘threat’ to the regional peace and stability.”

The spokesperson warned that if the “gangster-like logic” of the United States “is connived and tolerated, global peace and stability will be exposed to an irrevocable grave danger.”

“It is absolutely intolerable that such brigandish American-style standards are imposed even on space, an asset common to mankind,” the statement added.

The North Korean statement further recommitted to the country’s strategic space plan, claiming the plan’s development is essential “for closely monitoring and grasping the military moves of the United States and other hostile forces which are getting ever-more undisguised with each passing day.”

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