Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

North Korea Appears Nearly Done Building Big Missile Structure North Korea Appears Nearly Done Building Big Missile Structure

NEXT :
This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member or subscriber? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

North Korea Appears Nearly Done Building Big Missile Structure

+

North Korea's Unha 3 space rocket lifts off in December 2012, in an image released by official state media. Recent satellite images of the country's Dochang-ri missile site indicate work is almost finished on a tower big enough to handle rockets larger than the one Pyongyang successfully launched into space more than a year ago.(KNS/AFP/Getty Images)

North Korea appears to be almost done building a launch tower tall enough to handle firing rockets even larger than one successfully launched in 2012.

The construction progress could have implications for the isolated nation's ability to test potential long-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear payloads, though North Korea is not known to have mastered the technology to do so.

 

"Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea is nearing completion of modifications to the gantry at the launch pad of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station," said image expert Nick Hansen in a Thursday analysis posted on the specialist website "38 North." Sohae is also known as the Dongchang-ri missile launch complex.

An 11th level can now be seen in the images, which gives the tower enough height to allow firing rockets as tall as 50 meters, which would be nearly 70 percent longer than the space rocket North Korea successfully launched in December 2012, according to Hansen.

He projected the alterations to the Dongchang-ri launch platform could be wrapped up next month or in April if construction continues apace.

 

"The pad will then be available for additional launches, probably of the Unha 3 rocket or a slightly longer variant, such as the Unha 9, which was first displayed as a model in 2012," he wrote.

While North Korea claims its past launches of the Unha 3 space vehicle have been peaceful, much of the world views them as a likely cover for tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Don't Miss Today's Top Stories

Keeps me informed about national leadership concerns."

Senior Military Officer

I can browse over breakfast or while on the metro."

AJ, US Army Officer

Sign up form for the newsletter
Comments
comments powered by Disqus
 
MORE NATIONAL JOURNAL