Satellite photos taken on March 2, two days after President Trump's summit in Hanoi with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, show that the country is "rapidly rebuilding" the long-range rocket site at its Sohae Satellite Launching Station, the only operational space launch facility in North Korea, NBC News reports.
The images and analysis came from researchers at Beyond Parallel, a project sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who say space launches and intercontinental ballistic missile launches use similar technology. One of the report's authors, Victor Cha, said activity is "evident at the vertical engine test stand and the launch pad's rail-mounted rocket transfer structure. The activity they are undertaking now is consistent with preparations for a test, though the imagery thus far does not show a missile being moved to the launch pad."
Following the first summit between Trump and Kim in 2018, some facilities at Sohae were dismantled, and Beyond Parallel analysts determined the facility "has been dormant since August 2018, indicating the current activity is deliberate and purposeful." Other researchers have said work never stopped at the facility, with low-level activity seen in October, NBC News reports.
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Earlier this year, Beyond Parallel revealed satellite images taken in late December show North Korea has as many as 20 undisclosed missile sites scattered across the country.
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