State media show leader Kim Jong Un and his family enjoying a banquet with scientists and engineers involved in the project.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un celebrated a “new era of space power” after the country launched its first military spy satellite earlier this week.
Pyongyang said it successfully launched the Maelgyong-1 satellite into orbit late Tuesday, and within hours claimed Kim was reviewing photos of US military bases on Guam.
The official Korean Central News Agency quoted Kim as saying during a visit to the National Space Agency that the launch was “a complete exercise of the right of self-defense.”
He added that the launch was an “amazing event” that would help protect North Korea from “dangerous and aggressive moves by hostile forces” and herald “a new era of space power.”
The launch, banned under UN sanctions aimed at curbing the nuclear-armed state’s ballistic missile programme, exacerbated tensions on the peninsula with Seoul partially suspending and Pyongyang completely suspending the 2018 Joint Military Agreement that was supposed to bring cross-border stability. Relations.
The South Korean Foreign Ministry announced on Friday that the foreign ministers of South Korea, Japan and China will hold their first trilateral talks since 2019.
Sunday’s meeting in the southern port city of Busan will see Park Jin, Yoko Kamikawa and Wang Yi sit down for discussions against the backdrop of Beijing’s growing concerns about Tokyo, Seoul’s deepening security ties with Washington, and the latter’s concerns about North Korea’s continued military action. Development and deepening the relationship with Russia.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has already warned that military ties between North Korea and Russia are “growing and dangerous” after Kim traveled to Russia in September to meet with President Vladimir Putin.
Blinken urged Beijing, a key ally of Pyongyang, to call for some restraint.
The South Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the foreign ministers “plan during the summit to broadly exchange views on the direction of developing trilateral cooperation and regional and international situations.”
This week’s launch was North Korea’s third attempt in six months to put a spy satellite – a priority for Kim’s military modernization program – into orbit.
Its previous efforts in May and August ended in failure.
Pictures published by North Korean official media on Friday showed Kim, accompanied by his daughter, praising scientists and space program workers at the National Aerospace Technology Administration (NATA).
Kim was also seen enjoying a reception with NATA staff, senior military and political officials, and his family.
Those in attendance, including the Kim family, wore T-shirts with the NATA logo and “cheered enthusiastically, expressing their thanks to the great father who finally ensured the successful launch,” KCNA said.
She added that Kim showed “such fatherly love for space scientists.”
Since Tuesday’s launch, South Korea has deployed “surveillance and reconnaissance assets” to the border after partially withdrawing from the 2018 agreement, while Pyongyang said it would redeploy its forces there and suspend the deal entirely.