Since the embarrassing flop in April, the communist regime appears to have carried out at least two tests of large motors needed for rockets and worked on a launch platform, the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said.
The institute examined commercial images of the Sohae satellite launch station between April and September and found that 34 fuel tanks had been moved and vegetation appeared to be burned, next to a flame trench stained with an orange residue.
Some analysts believe that a North Korean rocket, if successfully developed, could eventually reach the range to hit the United States.
Nick Hansen, an expert on imagery analysis, said that North Korea may step up action after elections in both the United States and South Korea, the regime’s two primary foes.
“In the aftermath of the US and South Korean presidential elections, Pyongyang may embark on a new round of activities in the first half of 2013, including rocket and nuclear tests that will contribute to further development of its nuclear deterrent,” he wrote on the institute’s blog, 38 North.
South Korea’s defense minister, Kim Kwan-Jin, said last week that North Korea had completed preparations for another nuclear test and long-range missile launches.
Full article: North Korea ‘carries out fresh missile equipment tests’ (The Telegraph)