North Korea said it would regard attempts by the United States to disable its recently launched spy satellite as a declaration of war.
In a Saturday statement carried by North Korea's state-run media outlet Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), a North Korean defense ministry spokesperson said if the U.S. violated North Korea's sovereign territory, Pyongyang would consider undermining or destroying "the viability of American spy satellites."
The statement said that if North Korea's spy satellite is considered a threat, then U.S. satellites constantly loitering over the Korean Peninsula to spy on the regime's strategic sites should be regarded as priority targets for destruction.
It also said that the Malligyong-1 spy satellite is sovereign North Korean territory, citing the UN Outer Space Treaty adopted in 1967, adding that under international law, recon satellites are not regarded as "space weapons" because their objective is to observe.
Before this, a U.S. Space Command official told Radio Free Asia that "a variety of reversible and irreversible means" could be employed to deny an enemy's space and counterspace capabilities and activities, hinting that Washington could disable the North's spy satellite.