New construction underway at North Korea's rocket launch site: U.S. think tank
Is North Korea trying to fire larger rockets and newer mobile missiles?
Recent satellite imagery shows the reclusive regime is undertaking a major construction project at its Tongchang-ri launch site, its main missile launch site located on the northwestern coast, possibly to accommodate larger rockets.
The U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies says that, based on its analysis of the satellite imagery, it has spotted another new mobile launch pad, in addition to one it first identified in August, while the launch tower from which Pyongyang fired off its long-range Unha-3 rocket last December is being upgraded.
New roads and bridges are also being built that connect the new launch pad to the launch tower.
Pointing out that the new roads appear much wider and sturdier than existing ones, the institute suggests that the roads may be used to support heavier vehicles, such as Transporter Erector Launchers for mobile missiles.
The institute predicts the North will complete the construction project by the middle of next year.
But it also warns that the communist state could be ready to launch additional rockets at any given time, as construction on the new launch pad has the potential to be completed very soon.
Han Da-eun, Arirang News.
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