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Satellite images show activity at the North Korean rocket facility

The photos, taken in February 22 by the image management company DigitalGlobe, reveal a bloating in a plant in Sanumdong, a suburb of the capital Pyongyang. North Korea has previously collected some of its intercontinental ballistic missiles and satellite launch rockets at Sanumdong. Two experts CNN interviewed said they thought the activity suggested a satellite launch. This follows an assessment of the US tank 38 North, a respected North Korea monitoring site, that North Korea's Sohae Satellite Launch Facility, which had been partially dismantled as part of a pledge by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, is now back to normal operational status after an immersion of restoration work in recent weeks ̵ 1; work that seems to have picked up after Donald Trump and Kim Jong Uns failed the Hanoi Summit. "We see a lot of vehicle activity on the Sanumdong plant and also on the rail transfer point where it would be loaded and taken to So hae," says Lewis, who has studied the pictures. "I think the evidence points to a satellite launch, not just the evidence at Sanumdong, but also the evidence from Sohae." Lewis warned that it is impossible to know whether North Koreans are preparing a military robot or space rocket. It is also possible that the activity was a deliberate attempt to alert American spy satellites. US Department has declined to comment. "Because this plant produces both ICBM and space rockets, we don't know what's on the train," Melissa Hanham, a North Korean…

The photos, taken in February 22 by the image management company DigitalGlobe, reveal a bloating in a plant in Sanumdong, a suburb of the capital Pyongyang.

North Korea has previously collected some of its intercontinental ballistic missiles and satellite launch rockets at Sanumdong.

Two experts CNN interviewed said they thought the activity suggested a satellite launch.

This follows an assessment of the US tank 38 North, a respected North Korea monitoring site, that North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launch Facility, which had been partially dismantled as part of a pledge by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, is now back to normal operational status after an immersion of restoration work in recent weeks ̵

1; work that seems to have picked up after Donald Trump and Kim Jong Uns failed the Hanoi Summit.

“We see a lot of vehicle activity on the Sanumdong plant and also on the rail transfer point where it would be loaded and taken to So hae,” says Lewis, who has studied the pictures. “I think the evidence points to a satellite launch, not just the evidence at Sanumdong, but also the evidence from Sohae.”

Lewis warned that it is impossible to know whether North Koreans are preparing a military robot or space rocket. It is also possible that the activity was a deliberate attempt to alert American spy satellites.

US Department has declined to comment.

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“Because this plant produces both ICBM and space rockets, we don’t know what’s on the train,” Melissa Hanham, a North Korean expert with One Earth Future Foundation. “We don’t know how far the train has got.”

Hanham believes a satellite launch is the more likely scenario since there has never been an ICBM launch from Sohae. She also says that activity at the launch site should indicate about a week in advance if a launch is imminent.

“It has never been a surprise launch from Sohae,” Hanham says.

Satellite launches use similar technologies as ballistic missiles, and experts have long warned that North Korea’s attempts to shoot satellites into space could help them develop viable ballistic missiles.

North Korea’s missile program made progress in 2017, with Pyongyang saying it successfully tested three intercontinental ballistic missiles. Experts say Hwasong-15, launched in late November, can hit much of the United States.


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