Seoul, May 6 : Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates new construction is taking place at North Korea’s major rocket launching site in a move likely aimed at modernising the facility, according to a recent report from a US think-tank.
A coastal area previously used for agricultural purposes near the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in the country’s northwestern province of North Pyongan appears to be undergoing construction based on the satellite imagery taken on Sunday, according to the 38 North report released on Friday (US time).
The rocket launching facility in Tongchang-ri is the site where North Korea conducted tests for its major weapons systems, including a high-thrust solid-fuel rocket engine last December.
The report said agricultural buildings at the site were demolished about two to three weeks earlier, with new construction starting sometime between April 19 and 30.
“It is unclear what this new construction will amount to but it is likely part of the overall effort to modernise and enhance the satellite launch facility, per Kim Jong-un’s goals set forth in March 2022,” the report added.
At the time, the North’s leader made an on-site inspection of the facility and called for its modernisation, according to state media.