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Analyst: North Korea's satellites in orbit not transmitting data

North Korean satellite Kwangmyongsong-2 Unit 2 launched on Dec. 12, 2012, from North Korea's Unha-3 rocket, is not transmitting data, a South Korean analyst said. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
North Korean satellite Kwangmyongsong-2 Unit 2 launched on Dec. 12, 2012, from North Korea's Unha-3 rocket, is not transmitting data, a South Korean analyst said. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

April 22 (UPI) -- North Korean satellites launched into orbit are either unstable or not fully operational, and a reconnaissance satellite launched in February 2016 is not relaying data, a South Korean analyst said.

Song Geun-ho, a professor at Korea Defense Language Institute at South Korea's Joint Forces Military University, said in a new report on North Korea's space program that Pyongyang's claims of victory are not necessarily true, Newsis reported.

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"North Korea claimed to have successfully launched satellites twice in 2012 and [once in] 2016," Song wrote. "But the acquisition and dissemination of images through North Korean satellites, and the transmission of radio broadcast signals for the regime's propaganda have not been confirmed."

On Feb. 7, 2016, North Korea launched the Kwangmyongsong-4 to commemorate the birth anniversary of former leader Kim Jong Il.

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Song said the launch was a success, but the satellite likely "could not perform its function" because of its initial positioning, citing past analysis.

On Thursday Song said the satellite more recently was moved into position, and is in "partial operation."

The South Korean analyst said North Korea has never released satellite images from Kwangmyongsong-4.

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"It can be concluded that the satellite function has been lost because no signal was transmitted or received between the satellite and the ground station," Song said.

Other satellites, including the Kwangmyongsong-2 Unit 2 launched on Dec. 12, 2012, from North Korea's Unha-3 rocket, are not transmitting data, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Thursday.

According to Song, the Kwangmyongsong-2 Unit 2 also is not fully operating.

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The United Nations Security Council condemned the 2012 launch, and said the action violated a ban on North Korean ballistic missile tests.

Experts have said the North Korea's space program is a fig leaf for tests of weapons of mass destruction.

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