North Korean Military Reconnaissance Satellite 1 Launch

First posted 4 March 2023; Updated 4 March 2023

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Background
  3. First announcement
  4. Specs
  5. Forecast
  6. Conclusion

1. Introduction

April is the time of the year when traditionally North Korea launches its satellites.

This year, a space launch already announced in December 2022 will see this nation attempt to place a military satellite into orbit.

If ‘Military Reconnaissance Satellite 1’ ( 군사정찰위성 1호: Kunsajongch’arwisong-1 Ho) is successful, it will be the first functional one.

Indeed, Pyongyang has already placed 2 earth observation satellites of 100 kg and 200 kg into SSO orbit but both failed to return any useful data.

2. Background

None of the 5 satellites launched by North Korea to date have been confirmed to work properly.

• 31 AUG 1998|12:07 The first attempt to launch from the Tonghae SLC a North Korean satellite ended in vain, as the third stage of the Paektusan-1 launch vehicle failed shortly before it reached orbital velocity. Kwangmyongsong 1 (광명성 1) would have beamed songs from space, if it had reached a stable orbit.

• 5 APR 2009|11:20 Kwangmyongsong 2 (광명성 2) was the second North Korean attempt from the Tonghae SLC for a satellite to reach orbit. It reportedly carried a communication payload was to reach a 490 km × 1426 km × 40.6° orbit, but was lost in the first and second stages separation failure of the Unha-2 launch vehicle.

• 13 APR 2012|7:38:55 Kwangmyongsong 3 was launched on an Unha-3 rocket from the Sohae Satellite Center. Due to first stage guidance system failure, the launch was aborted by self-destruct.

• 12 DEC 2012|09:49:46 A second flight model of the satellite, Kwangmyongsong 3 Unit 2, was successfully launched in December 2012, but it has been tumbling since its launch and no transmission signals have ever been detected coming from the satellite despite North Korean claims to the contrary.

• 7 FEB 2016|09:00 Kwangmyongsong 4 launched on a Kwangmyongsong rocket (Unha-4) from the Sohae Satellite Center. It entered a sun-synchronous orbit of 465 km × 501 km with an inclination of 97.5°. No signals have been detected from the satellites by external observers.

• TBD Kwangmyongsong 5 (광명성 5) is a planned North Korean satellite. Reportedly the satellite is equipped with cameras and telecommunication devices. In late 2017, it was reported, that the Kwangmyongsong 5 satellite had been completed.

3. First announcement

4. Specs

What can be expected? A SSO orbit of about 450 km to 500 km launched from Sohae SLC seems reasonable for a military reconnaissance satellite.

The launcher might be the already proven Unha-class SLV, unless National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA) wants to risk its payload on a never tested next generation heavier SLV.

This new SLV would be made of the Hwasongpho-17 as first stage, with the Hwasongpho-15 as a second stage. An upper stage such as the Saman-1 could be used.

With a Unha SLV, the mass of the satellite could be expected below the 500 kg mark.

With a Hwasongpho-17/Hwasongpho-15 combination SLV, the payload could reach the 2000 kg.

5. Forecast

We will use a powerful tool to predict the outcome of this 6th North Korean attempt at placing a functional satellite into orbit!

‘Videomancy’ is a cutting-edge predictive OSINT science focussed on finding clues for future world events through the study of hints intentionally leaked in movies, TV serials, documentaries and other video media.


Here the key word is found to be I love you, je t’aime.

Please pay attention, as this step is very important.

This hint indicates that in this new era, starting from now onward, the key to success is determined by the love for one’s daughter.

It differs from the previous 1970s generation precocious 11 year-old children genius, preferably male.

In line with the new girl empowerment era.

We see that in this movie, Bye Bye Jupiter さよならジュピター (1984), the savior of mankind, Carlos Angeles the JS Project Reaction Team Lead is a 11 years old boy.

Now let us examine the North Korean case.

On the occasion of the test-fired a new-type ICBM on 18 November 2022, the official press was quoted as saying:

5. ‘Together with his beloved daughter’.

6. ‘Together with his beloved daughter’.

7. ‘Together with his beloved daughter’.


6. Conclusion

All indicate that if Kim Ju Ae the beloved daughter guides the coming April space launch, the mission should be a success.

:happy_frog: :happyrunningaround:

So you think because one bloke said something in a movie in 2020…that is the reason why Kim Jong Un is with his daughter during ICBM launches?

Do you believe we are in some sort of Matrix?

:happy_frog: :happyrunningaround:

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Tough guys such as David Blaine and powerful head of state like Kim Jong Un could have brought their sons in their workplaces.

Kim Jong Il used to follow Kim Il Sung and learn from him the job of stateman.

Then in turn, we saw Kim Jong Un following his father Kim Jong Il during his rounds of on-the-spot field guidance.

But today, it seems that the successors will be indeed all female. Future stuntwomen and Great Women-Leaders.

This is absolutely new. A world lead by women. Valkyrie and Amazons.

In a nutshell, if one wants to reach the sky, one will need the help of a woman.

Because what, only she can keep the lizard people at bay?

Hell Comes to Frogtown - Wikipedia.

Specs of the launcher

|2| |3| North Korean Hwasongpho-17/Hwasongpho-15 combination SLV (left) vs South Korean KSLV2 (Nuri) SLV.

|2| |3| North Korean space launchers. 2020

Possible introduction of a new launcher hinted in this article:

This seems not so far-fetched, as depiction of North Korean lunar base have already been revealed in the recent past:

Unequivocal landmark:

|2| |3| The Ryugyong Hotel 330-metre-tall pyramid-shaped skyscraper in Pyongyang, North Korea.

:happy_frog: :crystal_ball:

Holy shit. North Korea has discovered how to build a pyramid.

And seriously, what is this predilection to posting magazine articles? I hope you’re copying them from somewhere, because I mean, that much effort for this place? hahaha wth, man? :grinning: :idunno: :man_facepalming:

This should better be posted in:

but you’ll get the message.

|2| |3| |1| |2| Drawing by Alan Dunn, 1950, the New Yorker Magazine.

|2| Official Indochinese tribute to the winner of 7th May 1954 Dien Bien Phu Battle with Street lamp post as a FUGO hovering over the world, notice the purple death ray.

|2| Screenshot from Korean Central Television animated movie of piloted FUGO powered by lightning energy.

Notice the difference:

In the U.S., Aliens are represented as UNID from outer space.

While in North Korea, they are actually representing themselves piloting those FUGOS!

:happy_frog: :crystal_ball:

|2| |3| ‘I can beat absolutely anyone… But that thing…’

:happy_frog: :crystal_ball:

Some update:

Specs of the launcher

A new potential space launcher has been disclosed recently.

1. Qaem (قائم) solid propellant space launcher

Qaem is Iran’s civilian satellite carrier made of 4 stages.

Qaem is named after Imam Mahdi (PBUH) in the 9th century.

Qaem (قائم) or Ghaem (from Arabic: al-Qa’im, the one who has risen, a title for the 12th Imam al-Mahdi(PBUH)), is the last of the 12 Imams that Sh11te Muslims worship.

They believe that Imam Mahdi (PBUH) will reappear as a savior at the end of the world.

The militarized version, is Iran’s solid propellant land-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), under the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)'s Global Strike Command.

It is also a land-launched nuclear vector for Iran’s planned nuclear triad.

The civilian satellite carrier is made of 4 stages:

• First stage of 3.5 meters diameter, 20 meters long
• Second stage of 2 meters diameter, 11.5 meters long
• Third stage of 1.7 meters diameter, 4.5 meters long
• Fourth stage of 1.25 meters diameter, 4.5 meters long

The first stage is only used in the satellite carrier. While the other are used in the militarized ICBM version.

|2| |3| |1| |2| |3| Official Qaem SLV drawings. Screen capture of the forum when accessed on 19th February 2019.

At the same time, mentions of a North Korean Super-Topol-class ICBM started to emerge back in 2012. |1| |1|

|2| |3| |1| |2| |3| |1| |2| North Korean version of the Iranian Qaem SLV. 주체105(2016)년 3월 4일

Given that North Korea has been testing large diameter solid rocket motors for the Pukguksong-series for several years, it’s been clear (to me at least) that since 2020 a test like this could have come at any time.

The speed is mind-boggling surprising and the direction always clear:

Jan 2021: 8th WPK Congress Report

Dec 2022: static test of new motor with claimed 140tf

Feb 2023: ICBM associated TELs with new canisters

Apr 2023: First solid fuel ICBM test

2. First announcement of the Hwasongpho-18 ICBM

|2| |3| First Test-Fire of New-Type ICBM Hwasongpho-18.

|2| |3| First Test-Fire of New-Type ICBM Hwasongpho-18.

|2| |1| First Test-Fire of New-Type ICBM Hwasongpho-18.




3. Specs of the Hwasongpho-18 ICBM

|2| |3| |1| |2| 3D CGI of Hwasongpho-18 ICBM· Apr 14, 2023

The physical characteristics of the missile appear to be:

  • 3 stages
  • larger diameter first stage based on probably the December 2022 Solid Rocket Motor
  • smaller upper stages, probably similar in diameter to Pukguksong-3 (or slightly larger)
  • cold launch similar to the Pukguksong-2

4. Photogrammetric Measurement and Analysis of the Hwasongpho-18 ICBM

Stage 1: 2.21 m diameter x 10.35 m length
Stage 2: 1.90 m diameter x 5.90 m length
Stage 3: 1.90 m diameter x 4.87 m length
Hwasongpho-18 total: 2.21 m max diameter x 26.51 m length

|2| |3| |1| |2| This is the adjusted scaling image… · Apr 14, 2023

5. Mass estimation of the Hwasongpho-18 ICBM

|2| |3| |1| |2| I run those numbers on my ballistic missile calculator. A missile with such dimensions would weight ~89 tons. · Apr 14, 2023

6. Comparative Specs of DF-41 ICBM


Basing: Road-mobile, Rail-mobile, Silo
Length: 20 – 22 m
Diameter: 2.25 m
Launch weight: 80,000 kg
Payload: 2,500 kg
Warhead: Up to 10 nuclear warheads; MIRV
Propulsion: Three-stage solid propellant
Range: 12,000 – 15,000 km


Overall Length: 20.3 m
Stage 1 Diameter: 2 m
Gross liftoff weight: 58 t
Payload weight: 350 kg SSO

Kuaizhou-11 SLV
Overall Length: 25.3 m
Stage 1 Diameter: 2.2 m
Gross liftoff weight: 78 t
Payload weight: 1000 kg SSO

|2| |3| |1| |2| Specs of DF-41 ICBM and derived CZ-11 and KZ-11 SLVs.

7. Roll and Attitude Control System (RACS)

|2| |3| |1| |2| The design solution of a liquid RFNA roll-thruster for single nozzle, larger diameter SLV/ICBM. Shown by :iran: Iran on 5th November 2022 IRGC Qaem-100 SLV.

|2| |3| |1| |2| Shown by :north_korea: DPRK on 17th November 2022 Hwasongpho-17 ICBM.

|2| |3| Shown by :north_korea: DPRK on 13th April 2023 Hwasongpho-18 ICBM.

8. World ranking

Currently, if not on par with the Chinese DF-41, the Hwasongpho-18 might be the world largest TEL-launched solid-fuel ICBM.

For the DPRK:
Six years from 1st (liquid) ICBM flight to 1st solid ICBM flight.

7/8 years from 1st major solid motor test to solid ICBM flight.

Outside of the US that’s the fastest any country has developed a solid ICBM.
US did it in 5 years (1957 to 1962)
DPRK did it in 6 years (2017 to 2023)
USSR did it in 9 years (1957 to 1966)
India did it in 13 years
China in 19 years
France in 21 years

9. Forecast

The DPRK needs to demonstrate several more technological breakthroughs before the Hwasongpho-18 ICBM could be mass produced and fielded.

These include the testing of a post boost vehicle (PBV), miniaturised nuclear warhead and associated MIRVs, and PENAID decoys.

Ballistic missiles will be totally obsolete by 2027, upon completion of the U.S. 42’000 Starlink orbital WMD.

But converted in a civilian space launcher, based on the technologies developed for the Hwasongpho-18, it would be able to place 1 to 2 tons payload into a 500 km to 1000 km SSO, provided a 4th upper stage is added.

|2| |3| North Korean space launchers: Notice the solid-fuel Qaem/Hwasongpho-18 space launcher derivative. 2020.

This would allow North Korea to join the elite club of space powers able to launch satellite on a very short notice, and even from the sea on a barge, thus not limited to the higher latitude of North Korea, and similar to Chinese space companies.

The most important advantage of a sea launch capability will be to finally solve once and for all the bottleneck of overflying both Japan’s and South Korea’s airspaces, a chocking point that has systematically sparked diplomatic rows during each past space launches.

|2| |3| Map of trajectories for DPRK sea launched SSO and GEO space flights, with SLV derived from the Hwasongpho-18 ICBM.

10. First disclosure of a new SLV

First official image from video confirms a new space launcher 30% larger than the Unha SLV:

Pyongyang, April 19 (KCNA) – Kim Jong Un, general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and president of the State Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, inspected the National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA) on April 18.

|2| |3| |1| |2| Video: Respected Comrade Kim Jong Un Inspects NADA (8m08s). Apr 19, 2023

|2| |3| The new space launcher as shown in the NADA Mission Control screen.

|2| |3| Space launchers as shown on the NADA Mission Control screen: new space launcher on the left, Unha-class SLV on the right.


Specs of the satellite

|2| |3| ‘Military Reconnaissance Satellite 1’ as shown on the NADA Mission Control screen: with folded and deployed solar panels.

|2| |3| ‘Military Reconnaissance Satellite 1’ as shown on the NADA Mission Control screen.

|2| |3| ‘Military Reconnaissance Satellite 1’ as shown on the NADA Mission Control screen.

|2| |3| ‘Military Reconnaissance Satellite 1’ as shown on the NADA Mission Control screen.

|2| |3| ‘Military Reconnaissance Satellite 1’ as shown on the NADA Mission Control screen.

From the NADA Mission Control screen, the satellite shares some resemblance to the Iranian hexagonal shape Toloo-series Earth observation satellite.
But it differs notably from it, being much more advanced, with several pairs of side thrusters for orbit adjustments, four deployable solar panels positioned at 90 degree each in a cross pattern on the top of the satellite.

|2| |3| |1| |2| Model of the Iranian Tolou-1 Earth Observation satellite.

Future plan

• produce standardized and reliable carrier rockets on a full scale
• More type of satellites: weather, earth observation and communication satellites
• More satellite launching sites
• deploying several reconnaissance satellites on different orbits in succession
• satellite intelligence-gathering capability

|2| |3| From the first manned rocket-powered flight of Jyong Pyong Gu (鄭平九, 정평구) in the year 1590 to the 21st century Korean manned space launchers.

|2| |3| Unha-9 SLV carrying E-1 single seater manned space capsule.

|2| |3| Korean multiple-crew orbital spacecraft


gee…your copying/pasting of encyclopedia-type text is back again. wonderful

Is this a cross posting from Discord?

Boo. No alien connection. :ghost:

Wouldn’t like to be the lucky North Korean in that single-seat tin can.

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There’s nothing he could do.

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Photogrammetric Measurement and Analysis

Image has been blurred, so rough measurement of new rocket using Unha-class as reference.

Rocket stage is ~3.87 m wide in diameter and ~43 m long. A bit wider than CZ-2 (3.35 m), should have enough space to install 4 single-chamber engines of 80 tf each, totaling 320 tf thrust at lift-off.

Launcher total: 3.87 m max diameter x 43 m length

|2| |3| |1| |2| Rough measurement of new rocket · Apr 20, 2023

This is consistent with the above 2020 OSINT CGI of the Unha-9 SLV.

Meanwhile it is expected that the maiden launch of this new space launcher could take place within a week, by 25th April 2023.

Space is hard

To those who want to mock NADA’s space effort, please take note:

|2| |3| SpaceX’s Starship/SuperHeavy maiden launch.

• 5 out of 33 Raptor 2 engines not functioning right after liftoff
• Failed stage separation at T+00:02:52
• First stage spinning out of control thereafter until final explosion
• Explosion of the first stage at T+4minutes and loss of the launcher

By then if the Unha-9 SLV reaches the 29 km altitude mark and stage 2 is separated it would have outperformed the SpaceX’s Starship/SuperHeavy on its maiden launch.

No worse than the U.S. Mercury-Atlas capsule.

No worse than the ISS-Zarya either:


I did a few Google searches for random bits and didn’t find anything. If you can’t prove it is copied please refrain from accusations

If you can, please do.


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I dunno. I’ve seen the Mercury-Atlas capsule close up, and it’s incredible, considering it was designed and built 65 years ago. I’d feel fairly safe in there. Anything constructed by the magic kingdom is almost certainly inferior to 1950’s American kit.

And I just discovered the Russian word for “trailer” is “trailer”. I’m not sure why I find that so funny.



Indeed, instead of posting snippets every day, you got a monthly big update. And this also improves the overall quality.

Original work, not from reddit or discord. But what could mislead the unattentive reader is the apparent similtude of a sentence or paragraph: indeed sometimes the phrasing could be similar (after all, like math you can’t diverge that much, and spaceflight is always the same science) but what radically differs is the numbers or names or other important interpretations.

It is built by Iran because they got petrodollars revenue to spent, and that unlike the sheikdoms the Persians want prestige and international status not luxury.

But outsourced to North Korea because they stick to the JCPOA where they pledged to refrain from developing strategic weapons.

Plus, like the Chinese, Persians have students all over the European and North American universities, and in mass.

Therefore it is accurate to state that Team Persia-DPRK is well versed in the Western technologies, and via North Korean overseas students of the Chinese-Ukraine-Russian technological lineage. (This is also true for team India-Israel).

In a nutshell what we witness is a merger of the best tech from the Eastern and Western hemisphere.


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Well, that’s interesting. Never knew that. There’s always a workaround for stuff, isn’t there? I’ve always wondered why NK even continues to exist when all logic suggests it should have disappeared up its own fundament long ago. My theory is that various disparate interests benefit from NK’s presence in the world, so none of them have any reason to rock the boat.

AFAIK both NK and Iran are subject to sanctions on high-tech stuff like MEMS devices and microprocessors. Wonder how they get around that?

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You don’t have to believe everything you read on the Internet.

That’s part of it, China is a major patron. They also export drugs like methamphetamine, and they manufacture counterfeit currency, and they keep their population poor and scared and hungry and poorly informed and informing on each other, and so on

I have barely skimmed the thread, but what I see is mostly plans and nothing accomplished that other countries didn’t do in the 1950s and 1960s