North Korea warned on Saturday that it would “destroy” US spy satellites if Washington attempts “any attack” on its space facilities, after Pyongyang sent its first military eye into the sky last week.

A spokesman for North Korea’s Defense Ministry said it would consider such a move a “declaration of war,” according to a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

The statement followed a US official’s remark that Washington could “deny an adversary’s space and counterspace capabilities… through a variety of reversible and irreversible means,” referring to the successful launch of a spy satellite the north at the end of November.

The U.S. military could “undermine the effectiveness and lethality of opposing forces across all domains,” U.S. Space Command spokeswoman Sheryll Klinkel told Radio Free Asia this week.

On Saturday, Pyongyang threatened to “destroy” US spy satellites if Washington “attempts to violate North Korea’s legitimate territory,” citing its satellite program.

If the United States tries to violate its space rights, North Korea’s defense ministry spokesman said his country would “consider taking appropriate measures in self-defense to undermine or destroy the viability of US spy satellites.”

North Korea is barred from testing ballistic technology by successive U.N. resolutions, and analysts say there is significant technological overlap between space launch capabilities and ballistic missile development.

Experts said deploying a functional reconnaissance satellite in orbit would improve North Korea’s intelligence-gathering capabilities, particularly about South Korea, and provide vital data in any military conflict.

Since launching last week, the North has claimed its satellite has already provided images of key U.S. and South Korean military sites.

It has not yet released any of the satellite images it claims to have.

The North’s launch of Malligyong-1 was Pyongyang’s third attempt to put such a satellite into orbit, following two previous failures.

Seoul said the North received technical assistance from Moscow and in return supplied weapons for Russia’s war with Ukraine.

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