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Alert due to increased activity at the North Korean space base

A set of satellite images analyzed by experts led to a report published this Friday warning of an increase in activity at the North Korean space launch base, located in Sohae. Leader Kim Jong-un recently urged to modernize that center to launch larger rockets.

Photos of Sohae (northwest North Korea) taken in the last week show that a series of materials piled up outside the launch pad have been gradually moved to a processing building, according to the analysis carried out by the specialized website 38 North.

“These materials are surely associated with Kim’s (Jong-un) order to rebuild and expand facilities related to the rocket ‘general assembly’“explained the experts.

During his early March visit to the site, the leader ordered the modernization and expansion of the launch zone, the general assembly and fuel injection and supply facilities, and the launch control center. “to allow the launch of larger carrier rockets” and deploy new reconnaissance satellites.

The United States has denounced that, with the excuse of putting satellites into orbit, North Korea is planning a space launch that will serve to test its own technology. an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)as it has done on previous occasions.

Concern over increased activity at North Korea’s space base. Reuters photo

In the text published this Friday, 38 North states that “completing all of these improvements will likely take considerable time, as it will take time to manufacture and bring in specialized components”, and that “it is not clear if this new activity is related to the overall improvement plan or are short-term measures for the launch of a satellite.

However, analysts also noted an increase in the number of vehicles in the administrative and security area, and in the area used to accommodate important visitors.

“This type of activity has been observed before in the run-up to satellite launches, in order to prepare or inspect these accommodations for VIP visitors,” the report added.

Concern over increased activity at North Korea's space base.  AFP Photo

Concern over increased activity at North Korea’s space base. AFP Photo

Projectile test record

North Korea, which remains totally isolated by the pandemic and with no sign of opening up to the outside world soon, approved in January 2021 a five-year weapons modernization plan which is behind the recent increase in projectile tests (12 since the beginning of the year, a record figure).

In addition to launching its first ICBM since 2017 last week, satellite images suggest that the regime could soon test a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) and that could re-detonate an atomic device for the first time in five years.

With information from EFE

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