North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called for expanding its site for launching intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) into an “ultramodern advanced base”in order to become a space power, state media KCNA reported on Friday.
Kim made the remarks during a visit to the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground, which has been used to put a satellite in orbit, but also for various tests involving missile technology.
Those include static rocket engines and space launch vehicles which South Korean and US officials have said require similar technology used in ICBMs.
The KCNA report coincided with South Korea and the United States jointly announcing that North Korea used a new ICBM inits recent two weapons tests, with the possible intention to fire it in disguise of launching a space vehicle.
Kim inspected the base and ordered modernising and expanding it to ensure that “various rockets could be launched to carry multi-purpose satellites, including a military reconnaissance satellite,” the KCNA report said.
“It is the noble duty … to turn the launching ground, associated with our state’s great dream and ambition for a space power, into an ultramodern advanced base and a starting line of space conquest for the future,” Kim was quoted as saying.