North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has said the country's launch of a military reconnaissance satellite earlier this week was "an exercise of the right to self-defense," official media reported Friday.

Kim said possessing the satellite will "actively deter, control and manage various kinds and forms of the dangerous and aggressive moves of the hostile forces," the Korean Central News Agency reported, in an apparent reference to the alliance of the United States, South Korea and Japan.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C, front row) poses for photos with scientists, technicians and officials at the National Aerospace Technology Administration on Nov. 23, 2023. (KCNA/Kyodo) 

The North Korean leader visited the National Aerospace Technology Administration on Thursday to congratulate the scientists who contributed to the launch of the Malligyong-1 spy satellite, according to KCNA. It reported earlier that the satellite, launched Tuesday, will officially begin operation on Dec. 1.

Kim said the satellite would constantly grasp the "military intention and moves of the hostile forces with our space guard and powerful sighting telescope," according to KCNA.

The scientists' achievements had "remarkably bolstered war deterrence" and the launch of the satellite contributed to the goal of developing the country's aerospace reconnaissance capacity, as set forth by the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, KCNA quoted Kim as saying.

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