Rodong Sinmun reported on Mar. 10, 2022, that Kim had visited the National Aerospace Development Administration (Rodong Sinmun-News1)

North Korea’s Supreme Command recently ordered a reorganization of the Strategic Force Command that included the creation of a new “Space Strategy Department.”

A Daily NK source in the North Korean military said Monday that the Supreme Command issued the order in mid-October. The order included instructions to “reorganize the Strategic Force command” with a view to “develop the nation’s nuclear combat power in an unlimited, accelerated manner.” The source noted that implementation of the order had been completed by Nov. 1. 

Given how the reorganization order follows the legislation of North Korea’s nuclear weapons policy during the seventh session of the 14th Supreme People’s Assembly on Nov. 8, many in North Korea’s military believe the move is part of a broader effort by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to strengthen the nation’s nuclear deterrent.

In regards to the creation of the new Space Strategy Department, Daily NK’s source said that the new department’s mission is the “militarization and weaponization of space,” where “many military surveillance satellites will be deployed,” as well as directing the strategic operation of space.

The establishment of the department suggests that North Korea aims to accelerate the execution of a five-year plan (2021–2025) to develop the defense sciences and new weapons systems, including the operational deployment of military surveillance satellites.

What makes the creation of the new department extraordinary is that its establishment comes while military surveillance satellites are still under development. Indeed, most new departments in the Supreme Command have been created after their respective forces have already been deployed into the field. 


Interestingly, the Supreme Command is bestowing great importance on the creation of the new Space Command Department.

The source said the Supreme Command believes the creation of the Space Command Department within the Strategic Force Command will bolster specialized efforts to carry out the Supreme Command’s intent to conquer and militarize space.

“[The Supreme Command] is bestowing significance on the formation of the new Space Strategy Department, saying the military surveillance satellites to be deployed with the Strategic Force will become the eyes, ears and nerves of units that operate tactical nuclear weapons,” he said.

Meanwhile, the source said the political department of the Strategic Force Command is stressing the objectives and importance of the newly created Space Strategy Command, instructing personnel that the move is a “prerequisite task amid the long-term confrontation with US imperialism and its vassals to complete combat preparations for tactical nuclear weapon units and prepare for national reunification.”

During an onsite guidance visit to the National Aerospace Development Administration in March of this year, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the goal of the development and operation of military surveillance satellites was “to provide the armed forces of the DPRK with real-time information on military actions against it by the aggressive troops of the US imperialism and its vassal forces in South Korea, Japan and the Pacific.”

The North Korean leader further noted that, “the Workers’ Party Central Committee fully supports the decision of the National Aerospace Development Administration on diversely putting a lot of military reconnaissance satellites into sun-synchronous polar orbit in the period of the five-year plan so as to possess the strong capability [sic] for gathering intelligence by satellites.”

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