Skip to content

North Korea Switches to Russian Satellites, Signaling Closer Ties with Moscow

North Korea has switched from using Chinese satellites to Russian satellites for broadcasting its state television programs, according to South Korea’s Unification Ministry. This change has disrupted South Korea’s ability to receive North Korean signals in some areas.

The move comes as North Korea and Russia strengthen their ties. Recently, Russian President Putin visited Pyongyang and signed agreements with Kim Jong-un, including promises of military aid in case of attack.

While South Korean public is legally banned from watching North Korean media, officials and journalists need access to monitor North Korean communications and propaganda.

The US and its allies accuse North Korea of supplying ammunition and missiles for Russia’s war in Ukraine. The recent summit between Kim and Putin has raised concerns about increased material exchanges between the two countries.

Experts suggest this satellite switch could be an experiment to enhance North Korea’s space capabilities, possibly leading to future development of commercial satellites with Russian support. It may also help North Korea block South Korean cultural content from reaching its people through Chinese satellite frequencies.

The change in satellites also indicates that Pyongyang is strengthening its relationship with Moscow, potentially surpassing its traditional alliance with Beijing. This shift might prompt China to increase diplomatic pressure on North Korea.

Source: Deutsche Welle, July 2, 2024