Fresh satellite images suggest North Korea has completed upgrades at its main satellite launch site, fuelling speculation of a long-range rocket launch to coincide with a major political anniversary in October.
The US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said on Wednesday that analysis of the new pictures showed that construction begun in spring 2015 at the Sohae launch centre had been concluded.
As a result, space launch vehicle (SLV) stages – and payload – can be prepared horizontally in a new launch support building, then transferred to a movable support structure and conveyed to the launch pad.
The analysis, posted on the institute’s closely-watched 38North website, will reinforce predictions that the North is preparing a long-range rocket launch to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of its ruling Workers’ Party on October 10.
There is so much going on in the world that is worthy of daily worry that it is easy to overlook the workers paradise up in northern Asia. If Iran getting a nuke doesn’t keep you up at night, imagine a world where NoKo becomes militarily competent. It may seem unthinkable right now, but the unthinkable seems to be happening on a weekly basis right now.
For the moment we’re probably safe. Unless, of course, Obama decides he needs another foreign policy “victory” for his legacy.