News Column

N. Korea Improving Rocket Launch Site, US Analyst Says

Feb. 15, 2013

North Korea is working on its rocket facilities, a report said on Friday, apparently to accommodate larger rockets.

Work under way at the Tonghae base in the north-east of the country could produce a capacity by 2016 to launch rockets three to four times as large as the one that put an object into orbit in December, the report said.

"Construction of new facilities at the Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground (commonly referred to as Musudan-ri), [...] has made important progress since late October 2012," said the report published on the 38north website, run by the US-Korea Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

The assessment is based on satellite imagery taken in December and January, which appears to show a new launch platform under construction, and indications of technical assistance from Iran.

North Korea drew international condemnation for the December launch, and for its third nuclear test on Tuesday, which it said was in response to a tightening of international sanctions in January.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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