Sizable Construction Seen Under Way at N. Korean Missile Site

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Sept. 3, 2013, 10:02 a.m.

North Korea has be­gun a large-scale build­ing pro­gram at its key mis­sile-launch com­plex, ac­cord­ing to the ex­pert web­site 38 North, which ana­lyzed satel­lite sur­veil­lance pho­to­graphs taken to­ward the end of last month.

Six not­able new con­struc­tion ef­forts have be­gun so far this sum­mer at the Dongchang-ri mis­sile site, which is the new­er and lar­ger of North Korea’s two mis­sile-fir­ing fa­cil­it­ies. Of spe­cial in­terest is a work site that might be turned in­to a ce­ment “flat launch pad,” which could serve as a plat­form for launch­ing bal­list­ic mis­siles from road-mo­bile launch­ers il­li­citly ac­quired from China, ac­cord­ing to im­age ex­pert Nick Hansen, who au­thored the 38 North re­port.

It is still too early in the con­struc­tion to reach a de­cis­ive con­clu­sion on the im­plic­a­tions of the build­ing work, ac­cord­ing to Hansen.

Still, the ab­sence of any not­able move­ment at the North’s older mis­sile launch­ing fa­cil­ity at Musudan-ri and the amount of build­ing work around Dongchang-ri sug­gests that Py­ongy­ang does not plan to carry out any more mis­sile or rock­et launches in the next half year, con­cluded 38 North, which is a pro­ject of the Johns Hop­kins Uni­versity’s U.S.-Korea In­sti­tute.

Mean­while, the South Korean De­fense Min­istry in a Tues­day re­port to par­lia­ment de­clared that Py­ongy­ang has the abil­ity to pro­duce a nuc­le­ar device whenev­er it wants, the Yon­hap News Agency re­por­ted.

“North Korea’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram re­mained at a de­vel­op­ment­al and ex­per­i­ment­al stage in 2010, but it has grown in­to a real threat in 2013, and it is able to make a nuc­le­ar device at any time,” the min­istry said, fur­ther not­ing that “China’s chan­ging at­ti­tude to­ward North Korea proves the ser­i­ous­ness of (its nuc­le­ar pro­gram).”

The Chinese mil­it­ary’s deputy chief of gen­er­al staff, Sun Ji­an­guo, on Tues­day re­it­er­ated Beijing’s “con­sist­ent and clear-cut” com­mit­ment to the de­nuc­lear­iz­a­tion of the Korean Pen­in­sula, Yon­hap sep­ar­ately re­por­ted.

China’s seni­or ne­go­ti­at­or to a para­lyzed six-na­tion pro­cess aimed at achiev­ing per­man­ent North Korean de­nuc­lear­iz­a­tion last week met with his North Korean coun­ter­part. The two men “ex­changed views on the re­sump­tion of the six-party talks,” ac­cord­ing to Chinese For­eign Min­istry spokes­man Hong Lei.

The six-party nuc­le­ar talks in­volve China, Ja­pan, North and South Korea, Rus­sia and the United States. The aid-for-de­nuc­lear­iz­a­tion ne­go­ti­ations were last held in late 2008.

What We're Following See More »
Spicer Excludes NYT, CNN, BuzzFeed from Press Gaggle
8 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
SANS PROOF
NRA Chief: Leftist Protesters Are Paid
10 hours ago
UPDATE
EXECUTIVE ORDER
Trump: Agencies Should Recommend Regulations to Repeal
11 hours ago
THE DETAILS
NEW TRAVEL BAN COMING SOON
Trump Still on Campaign Rhetoric
12 hours ago
UPDATE
“WE’RE CHANGING IT”
Trump Rails On Obamacare
13 hours ago
UPDATE

After spending a few minutes re-litigating the Democratic primary, Donald Trump turned his focus to Obamacare. “I inherited a mess, believe me. We also inherited a failed healthcare law that threatens our medical system with absolute and total catastrophe” he said. “I’ve been watching and nobody says it, but Obamacare doesn’t work.” He finished, "so we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare."

×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login