Kim Jong Un
Kim Jong Un KCNA/via REUTERS

North Korea said on Sunday that the latest missile test it conducted was for the development of a reconnaissance satellite system, Reuters reported, citing state news agency KCNA.

KCNA's report did not elaborate on what type of rocket had been used in the test, but authorities in South Korea said it appeared to be a ballistic missile fired from an area near Pyongyang where its international airport is located.

The test helped to confirm the working accuracy of a high definition photographing system, data transmission system and attitude control devices by "conducting vertical and oblique photographing of a specific area on earth" with cameras to be loaded on the reconnaissance satellite, KCNA reported.

"The test is of great significance in developing the reconnaissance satellite," the report said.

State media released two photos showing the Korean peninsula seen from space.

Sunday’s launch was the eighth test North Korea has conducted this year, and the first test since it conducted a record number of launches in January.

One of those launches was a test of a Hwasong-12 mid-range ballistic missile. This marked the first time Pyongyang has tested a weapon that powerful since 2017.

Pyongyang restarted its missile tests after denuclearization talks with the United States came to a halt.

Former US President Donald Trump tried to reach an agreement with North Korea while in office. Kim and Trump met in Hanoi in 2019 for a summit that left nuclear talks at a standstill.

The pair had met three times since June 2018 but made little progress towards denuclearization.

The Biden administration reached out to North Korea shortly after taking office, but the country did not respond to those overtures.

In Biden’s first policy speech to Congress, he said nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran posed threats that would be addressed through “diplomacy and stern deterrence”.

Responding to that speech, North Korea dismissed the idea of talks with Washington, saying Biden’s speech was “intolerable” and “a big blunder."