News / Asia

North Korea Halts Work on Launch Pad

Satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows the Tongch'ang-ni Launch Facility on North Korea's northwest coast, April 6, 2012.
Satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows the Tongch'ang-ni Launch Facility on North Korea's northwest coast, April 6, 2012.
VOA News
A U.S.-based research institute says new satellite imagery suggests North Korea has halted construction on a launch pad capable of testing intercontinental missiles.

The website 38 North says the delay, possibly due to recent heavy rains, could push back the project's completion by up to two years.

The new launch pad, located at the Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground, had been scheduled for completion around 2015.

But the group says the photos, taken August 29, also suggest Pyongyang is working on an existing launch pad at the same facility that has been used for previous missile tests.

Although the report says no launch appears to be imminent, it says North Korea can still launch longer-range rockets at its Sohae facility, from where it conducted its failed missile launch in April.

North Korea said the April launch was aimed at placing a satellite into orbit. But the U.S. and others condemned the move, saying it was a pretext for long-range missile testing prohibited under U.N. sanctions.

Pyongyang has tested two nuclear weapons and says it has turned some of its stockpile of plutonium into bomb material.  There are concerns that it aims to create a nuclear bomb that can be carried on a missile, though experts say they have not mastered the necessary technology.

38 North, the website of the U.S.-Korea Institute of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, says the new launch pad at Tonghae is intended to conduct tests on "larger liquid-fueled rockets, possibly with intercontinental ranges."

It said the commercial satellite photos of the facility, taken by DigitalGlobe, also show Pyongyang has stopped construction on fuel and oxidizer buildings designed to support future tests near the new pad.

The report said the exact cause of the delay is not clear, but that heavy rains may have damaged the dirt trail leading to the secluded construction site. It also said heavy construction equipment at the site may have been relocated to help repair flood-damaged areas.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

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