A defiant North Korea tells the UN that its spy satellite program is its legitimate right as a sovereign state.

Lee Jin-man/AP

A news report on a North Korean missile launch on August 24 is shown on a television screen at a train station in Seoul, South Korea.


In a defiant speech to the UN Security Council, North Korea insisted on efforts to launch a spy satellite into space are transparent and in line with its “legitimate right as a sovereign state”.

Pyongyang’s UN ambassador Kim Song defended his country in a rare address to the UN on Friday, denying that the country sought to acquire intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) technology via its satellite.

It has never “recognized UNSC resolutions that violate the rights of a sovereign state,” Kim Jong Un said.

Pyongyang’s second attempt to launch a spy satellite into orbit took place on Thursday, and failed due to a malfunction in the third stage of the rocket.

His the first attempt failed in May when the Chollima-1 satellite vehicle rocket fell into the sea shortly after liftoff.

The missile broke into pieces and fell into the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean, prompting neighboring Japan to urgently evacuate residents of the southern Okinawa region.

The US National Security Council condemned the launch as a “flagrant violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions”, saying it “involved technology directly related to the DPRK’s intercontinental ballistic missile program”.

South Korea’s military said the latest satellite’s design was too basic to function properly as a spying device, even if it had been successfully launched.

North Korea will attempt another launch in October, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.


North Korea’s ambassador to the UN, Kim Song, attends a meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday, August 25.

Ahead of Kim Song’s address to the UN, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield called on members to “return to an era when we used our collective voice to curb nuclear proliferation”.

“We must unequivocally condemn the DPRK’s unlawful behavior … and we must call on the DPRK to fully and faithfully implement all relevant Security Council resolutions,” she said.

“And we must address the DPRK’s global revenue-generating activities that fund its illicit weapons program.”

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