North Korea Aims for the Moon, Country Plans for More Satellites by 2020
North Korea currently has two satellites in orbit, but its space officials are working on a five-year plan to put more satellites up by 2020. However, the plan does not stop there. The country is also aiming for the moon.
Director of the Scientific Research Department of North Korea's National Aerospace Development Association, Hyong Kwang II, spoke with The Associate Press. In spite of the internal sanctions from NASA, North Korea is determined to launch more satellites and plant its flag on the moon in 10 years' time.
"Even though the U.S. and its allies try to block our space development, our aerospace scientists will conquer space and definitely plant the flag of the DPRK on the moon," said Hyon. "We are planning to develop the earth observation satellites and to solve communications problems by developing geostationary satellites. All of this work will be the basis for the flight to the moon."
The five-year plan under the order of Kim Jong Un focuses on the launch of an earth observation satellite. It would reportedly be the first geostationary communications satellite. Following the major step in terms of technology, North Korean Universities will also be expanding its programs to train potential rocket scientists.
As for the long-term target of the five-year plan, the satellites will provide data needed for forestry and crop assessments. It will also improve communication. Presently, North Korea has two satellites, namely the KMS-4 and the KMS-3-3. As of July 27, the KMS-4 or Kwangmyongsong 4, also known as the Brilliant Star 4, completed approximately 2,513 orbits and has transmitted 700 photographic images.
Despite the technological advancements and space development plans, North Korea remains an isolated community. China, its neighboring country, acts as a diplomatic ally. The economy of North Korea remains the same and with thousands still living in poverty.