News / Asia

No Work at North Korean Launch Site for 8 Months: Analysts

This May 26, 2013 satellite image taken by Astrium, and annotated and distributed by 38 North shows an unfinished new missile assembly building, top left, and control center, top right, at the Tonghae facility in North Korea. (AP Photo/Astrium - 38 North)
This May 26, 2013 satellite image taken by Astrium, and annotated and distributed by 38 North shows an unfinished new missile assembly building, top left, and control center, top right, at the Tonghae facility in North Korea. (AP Photo/Astrium - 38 North)
VOA News
New satellite photos suggest construction work has been halted for the last eight months at a key North Korean launch site intended to test bigger and more advanced rockets.

The 38 North research institute says North Korea had been making rapid progress on building a launch pad, control center, and missile assembly building at the Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground on the northeast coast.

This May 26, 2013 satellite image taken by Astrium, and annotated and distributed by 38 North shows an unfinished new launch pad, center, at the Tonghae facility in North Korea. (AP Photo/Astrium - 38 North)This May 26, 2013 satellite image taken by Astrium, and annotated and distributed by 38 North shows an unfinished new launch pad, center, at the Tonghae facility in North Korea. (AP Photo/Astrium - 38 North)
x
This May 26, 2013 satellite image taken by Astrium, and annotated and distributed by 38 North shows an unfinished new launch pad, center, at the Tonghae facility in North Korea. (AP Photo/Astrium - 38 North)
This May 26, 2013 satellite image taken by Astrium, and annotated and distributed by 38 North shows an unfinished new launch pad, center, at the Tonghae facility in North Korea. (AP Photo/Astrium - 38 North)
​Commercial satellite images taken late last year showed that construction mysteriously stopped. The U.S.-based institute initially said the projects may have been temporarily stopped due to heavy rains and typhoons.

But it said Tuesday the latest imagery shows that work has still not resumed, as of late May. The photos even appear to show grass growing inside the foundation of the missile assembly building.

38 North says the stoppage may indicate the North has decided to slow or even halt development of larger rockets. Or, it said Pyongyang may have decided testing could take place at the newer Sohae Satellite Launching Station.

In December, North Korea successfully sent what it said was a weather satellite into space using a Unha-3 rocket that was launched from the Sohae facility, which is also known as Tonchang-ri.

The United States and others condemned the move as a disguised long-range missile test that North Korea is banned from conducting under United Nations sanctions on its nuclear weapons program.

Many fear the successful orbital space launch, which followed many unsuccessful attempts, was a breakthrough in the North's stated goal of being able to deliver an intercontinental ballistic missile to the U.S. mainland.

North Korea has also said advances in its rocket technology are necessary in order to help develop the country's economy and technology industry, a notion that analysts have questioned.

The December rocket launch, as well as North Korea's third nuclear test in February, set in motion a series of events that led to heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Those tensions, which included threats of nuclear war by the North, have since died down, and North Korea has offered to engage in talks with Washington. But Pyongyang has given no sign it is willing to make concessions on its weapons program.

38 North said the reason for the construction stoppage at Tonghae remains unclear. But it said if work resumes now, the facility may not be complete until 2017 - at least a year behind an estimate of the North's original schedule.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More