N.Korea reaffirms plan to launch several spy satellites this year

North Korea has reaffirmed its plan to launch several spy satellites this year. The country says it successfully launched the first such satellite last November.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency reported on Monday that its questions about space development were answered by the vice director of the National Aerospace Technology General Bureau.

Monday marks the 11th anniversary of the establishment of the bureau's predecessor, the National Aerospace Development Administration.

The report quotes the vice director as saying that last year's successful launch of the reconnaissance satellite Malligyong-1 has brought about substantial progress in strengthening national defense capabilities.

He stressed North Korea will build a space power without fail by accelerating its space development in a sustainable manner.

Pyongyang had earlier revealed a plan to launch three more spy satellites in 2024. Last week, South Korean media reported North Korea was preparing to launch a second military satellite from the Sohae satellite launching station in the country's northwest.

South Korea plans to launch its second military reconnaissance satellite from the United States by using a private-sector rocket in early April.

Countries concerned are on heightened alert and are stepping up the monitoring of North Korea amid speculation that the country may go ahead with its plan before the South Korean launch.