After north korea successfully launched its own military reconnaissance satellite last month, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying South Korea's first spy satellite launched on friday from California's Vandenberg Space Force Base. SpaceX's webcast of the flight terminated minutes after liftoff and the recovery of the rocket's core stage booster, without displaying the deployment of the South Korean payload.

South Korea launched a mission-capable satellite into orbit for the first time in May using its own domestically produced Nuri launch vehicle, but it has contracted with the American company SpaceX to launch a total of five spy satellites by 2025 in an effort to accelerate its goal of having a 24-hour watch over the Korean peninsula.

Following the failure of two previous launches this year, north korea utilized its own Chollima-1 launch vehicle to send the Malligyong-1 spy satellite into orbit. Pyongyang has yet to provide pictures from the satellite, and many believe its full capabilities remain unknown. The important US installations are added to a list of locations north korea claims to have photographed with its Nov. 21 reconnaissance probe. The newest photographs, along with prior shots of Rome, Anderson air Force Base in Guam, Pearl Harbour, and the US Navy's Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, were seen by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to the state's official media.

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