N. Korea’s Satellite Research Institute has become a “Satellite Research Institute”

North Korean state media reported that Kim Jong Un visited the satellite launch site on March 11. (Labor Newspaper-News 1)

It is reported that the satellite research institute under the National Aerospace Development Agency (NADA) has been expanded to the “Satellite Research Center”.

A North Korean Daily NK source said last Thursday that the name of the institute was changed to June 1 according to an order from the Central Committee. The technician staff has also been expanded.

North Korean Prime Minister Kim Jong-un visited NADA in March, saying, “The party’s central committee has made a full-scale decision by the National Aeronautics and Space Development Bureau to place many military reconnaissance satellites in various sun-synchronous polar orbits during this period. A five-year plan with strong capabilities for satellite information gathering. “

After that, NADA apparently supplemented the research and technicians.

Daily NK sources pointed out that it wasn’t the so-called “March 7 Command” that was expanded, but NADA’s existing satellite lab.

Headquarters on March 7 is a temporary research organization whose mission is to successfully launch North Korea’s first surveillance satellite. However, sources said the recently upgraded Satellite Research Center will carry out comprehensive and continuous national research tasks to “develop the universe peacefully,” as North Korea claims.

In short, March 7th Command is a non-permanent, short-term organization similar to the Task Force, while the Satellite Research Center is a permanent research institute to fulfill Kim’s determination to develop satellites.

Within NADA’s headquarters, the party “to research and produce more practical satellites, a collection of state-of-the-art technologies, to achieve the party’s five-year plan for space exploration, sources said. , Expanded and reorganized the laboratory over the long term. ” .. “

According to him, “Inside NADA, research by expanding and reorganizing research centers, that is, achieving more results in the state’s policy of peacefully developing space through the production of effective satellites. The center emphasizes the need to reward the move. “

Space agency officials said the party had invested heavily in the production and launch of the Kwangmyungsung 4 satellite in February 2016, but the satellites had little practical function.

After deciding to expand the Satellite Research Institute, the National Defense Science Academy’s research institute sent engineers, researchers, scientists, and work-level personnel to the Satellite Research Center.

According to sources, the NADA center is “researching and developing satellites for scientific purposes,” while the Academy of National Defense Science is conducting “individual research on rockets to strengthen defense.”

In essence, this suggests that North Korea is trying to separate the institutions that are studying satellites for scientific and technological purposes from those that are studying ballistic missiles and other subjects related to weapons development.

The move seems to be a response to criticism from the international community that North Korea continues to develop ballistic missiles, with development seemingly focused on launching “satellite.”

North Korea has been working hard to get NADA to join the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) to develop rocket launch technology and justify rocket launch. In fact, accession was approved in 2015, but the IAF subsequently revoked the approval based on the opinion of the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on the North Korean Expert Committee.

Translated by David Black. Edited by Robert Roller.

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