News / Asia

US Expert: North Korea Speeds Up Missile Launch Times

FILE - A satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in Tongchang-ri, North Korea.
FILE - A satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in Tongchang-ri, North Korea.
Sungwon Baik

North Korea can fire long-range missiles significantly faster, following upgrades to its launch sites, a U.S. expert has observed.

Satellite imagery analyst Nick Hansen told the VOA Korean Service this week that improvements at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station on the Yellow Sea had cut two weeks off a process that used to take 45 days.

Pyongyang does not appear likely to be fire long-range missiles anytime soon. Through images he purchases from satellite companies, the Johns Hopkins University researcher said ongoing construction at the facility would likely make it inoperable for several more months.

But Thursday, South Korea said North Korea test-fired projectiles into the Sea of Japan.

Shortly after the launches, the North called a South Korean live-fire drill near a contested maritime boundary "a grave military provocation."

There is no word on what type of projectile was fired or if the launches were a test of a new weapon.

Earlier this year, North Korea fired multiple rockets, including medium-range missiles, during large scale U.S.-South Korean joint military exercises.

Thursday's launches coincided with widespread speculation that Pyongyang may be preparing to conduct its fourth underground nuclear weapon test, in violation of U.N. resolutions.

U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said earlier this year North Korea has expanded the size of its Yongbyon uranium enrichment facility and restarted a reactor used for plutonium production.

Clapper said the North's nuclear weapons and missile programs "pose a serious threat" to the United States and Asia, noting  Pyongyang is committed to developing a missile that can strike the U.S. mainland.

This story was produced in collaboration with VOA's Korean Services.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: 1worldnow from: Earth
June 27, 2014 2:27 AM
Doesn't this just crack everyone up! I mean, UN resolutions violations? NK is obviously scared about the UN. Will somebody please tell the UN to pull it's head out of the sand, for at least a few minutes, to see what is going on in the world today? I know, the UN is stubborn. Take a cattle prod and poke it on the UN's butt, that will make the UN's head pop up. Help the UN brush the sand off it's head, maybe a double-espresso latte........ Just don't mention that Russia is causing the ruin of Ukraine, it'll just send the UN into a panic-attack!

Have no fear people, the UN is on it! They will pass more resolutions on NK, that they will continue to ignore, and NK will keep responding: "UN,.......how do you spell that again?"

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid