The country's news state agency said the test involved cameras for a reconnaissance satellite conducting vertical and oblique photography of a specific area of Earth.

The Korean peninsula is seen in this photo reportedly taken by a camera loaded on a reconnaissance satellite and released by KCNA,
The Korean peninsula is seen in this photo reportedly taken by a camera loaded on a reconnaissance satellite and released by KCNA, (Reuters)

North Korea has said it carried out a test of "great significance" for developing a reconnaissance satellite, a day after Seoul said it had detected a ballistic missile launch.

State news agency KCNA's Monday report did not elaborate on what type of rocket had been used in the test on Sunday, but authorities in South Korea and Seoul said it appeared to be a ballistic missile fired from an area near Pyongyang where its international airport is located.

Sunday's test helped to confirm the working accuracy of a high definition photographing system, data transmission system and attitude control devices by "conducting vertical and oblique photographing of a specific area on earth" with cameras to be loaded on the reconnaissance satellite, KCNA reported.

"The test is of great significance in developing the reconnaissance satellite," the report said.

The North Korean rocket fired on Sunday flew to a maximum altitude of around 620 km (390 miles) and a range of about 300 km (190 miles), South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

The test drew international condemnation, and the United States, Britain, France and three other UNSC members plan to raise the latest launch during a closed-door council meeting on Monday, diplomats said.

READ MORE: North Korea fires 'potential ballistic missile'

Expanding military capabilities 

Developing a military reconnaissance satellite is among a number of advancements leader Kim Jong-un called for last year, including recently tested hypersonic weapons.

Similar photos were released after the last missile test, on January 30, which featured a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile with a camera fitted in its nose cone.

North Korea's push to develop such technology comes as South Korea plans to test a solid-fuel space projectile in March as part of a project to deploy its own military surveillance satellites to monitor the North, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

Sunday’s launch was the eighth test this year, and the first since January when nuclear-armed North Korea fired off a record number of missiles.

Previous launches of what North Korea says are space rockets have been criticised by the United States and its allies as thinly veiled tests of ballistic missile technology.

Officials in South Korea and Japan expressed concern that North Korea could forge ahead with missile development banned by United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions while international attention is focused on the Ukraine crisis.

READ MORE: China's Xi stresses cooperation with North Korea under 'new situation'

Source: TRTWorld and agencies