PYONGYANG, March 23 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Thursday slammed Japan for launching a spy satellite as a revelation of Tokyo's ambition to invade Korea again as it did more than one century ago.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted a spokesman of the DPRK Foreign Ministry as saying that Japan launched an H-2A rocket carrying a spy satellite at the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture of Japan on March 17.

"The Japanese authorities announced that the satellite is aiming to gathering intelligence about the ballistic missile launch of DPRK, revealing itself that it is a spy satellite," said the spokesman.

"The satellite launch, conducted by Japan at a time when the departed soul of militarism is haunting, is another product of its premeditated policy of militarization and a clear revelation of its ambition for staging a comeback to Korea," he added.

The spokesman also said that the DPRK will continue "exercising the legitimate right of development of space for peaceful purposes no matter what others may say" and to "take thorough measures to cope with Japan's militarization and its moves to realize the ambition for re-invasion" of Korea.

The DPRK has conducted several ballistic missile test-firings since February, fuelling tension to the already simmering Korean peninsula. The deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system in South Korea and the Seoul-Washington military exercises starting early March also sparked anxiety in the region.

Japan annexed Korea by force in 1910 and enslaved Koreans for 35 years in its brutal occupation of the peninsula.