Korean Committee of Space Technology
|Formed||17 September 2011|
|Jurisdiction||Government of North Korea|
The Korean Committee of Space Technology (KCST; Chosŏn'gŭl: 조선우주공간기술위원회, Hanja: 朝鮮宇宙空間技術委員會) is the agency of the government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) responsible for the country's space program.
Very little information on it is publicly available. It is known to have been founded sometime in the 1980s, and most likely is connected to the Artillery Guidance Bureau of the Korean People's Army.
The KCST is responsible for all operations concerning space exploration and construction of satellites. On 12 March 2009 North Korea signed the Outer Space Treaty and the Registration Convention, after a previous declaration of preparations for a new satellite launch.
KCST operates the Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground and Sohae Satellite Launching Station rocket launching sites, Baekdusan-1 and Unha (Baekdusan-2) launchers, Kwangmyŏngsŏng satellites. South Korea and the United States accuse North Korea of using these facilities and the rockets as a cover for a military ballistic missile testing program.
Tonghae site was built in 2011 and 2000s with a launch pad completed in 2011; the Sohae site was built from the 2000s to 2010s with completion sometime in 2011.
The DPRK twice announced that it launched satellites: Kwangmyŏngsŏng-1 on August 31, 1998 and Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2 on April 5, 2009. The USA and South Korea predicted that the launches would in actuality be military ballistic missile tests, but later confirmed that they had followed orbital launch trajectories
In 2009 DPRK announced more ambitious future space projects including own manned space flights and development of a manned partially reusable launch vehicle. Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 was launched on April 13, 2012 and ended in failure shortly after launch. A follow-up attempt the following December, Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 Unit 2, entered polar orbit as confirmed by various countries.
This is a list of satellites launched.
|Kwangmyŏngsŏng-1||31 August 1998||Paektusan||Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground||Launch failure||Technology experimental satellite|
|4 July 2006||Unha-1||Failed||Rocket test (See 2006 North Korean missile test)|
|Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2||5 April 2009||Unha-2||Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground||Failed to reach orbit||Communications satellite|
|Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3||13 April 2012||Unha-3||Sohae Satellite Launching Station||Failed to reach orbit||Observation satellite|
|Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 Unit 2||12 December 2012||Unha-3||Sohae Satellite Launching Station||Successful launch||Observation satellite|
- Despite Clinton, Korea has rights. February 25, 2009
- "KCNA Report on DPRK's Accession to International Space Treaty and Convention". KCNA. 2009-03-12. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
- Choe Sang-Hun (23 December 2012). "North Korean Missile Said to Have Military Purpose". New York Times.
- UN Security Council condemns North Korea rocket launch. BBC, 13 December 2012.
- "朝鲜宣布发展太空计划抗衡"西方强权"". Rodong Sinmun. 2009-02-08. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
- "North Korea rocket launch 'fails'". April 13, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
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