North Korea appears to have resumed its efforts to expand the older of its two missile-launch complexes, the expert website 38 North revealed late last week, citing an analysis of recent satellite photographs.
Images taken as recently as Nov. 18 show the North had reinvigorated construction at the Musudan-ri missile complex after a break in work of close to a year. The various building projects that had been previously detected -- a missile-firing platform, launch-control post and missile-assembly facility -- seem to be geared toward enabling bigger, more advanced missiles, according to the findings of 38 North image expert Nick Hansen.
"In the short span of eight weeks -- from Sept. 16 until Nov. 18 -- work resumed on the new launch-control center, now nearly externally complete, and the assembly building, which is still in an early stage of construction," Hansen wrote. "There was no construction at the new launch pad."
It earlier was hypothesized that the pause in building work at Musudan-ri meant that North Korea was pulling back from the site and focusing its missile activities on Dongchang-ri -- the newer of the two missile complexes.
"Imagery also shows no signs that North Korea is planning another long-range rocket launch in 2013," said 38 North, which is a project of the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University.
Pyongyang's last space rocket launch in December 2012 took the world by surprise when it was successful. The launch demonstrated North Korea's growing mastery of the technology needed for building intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Elsewhere, the body of a South Korean man was discovered on Saturday at a manufacturing site cooperatively run with North Korea near the border, the Associated Press reported. Authorities said it was not yet known how the man died.
This article was published in Global Security Newswire, which is produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group working to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.http://www.nationaljournal.com/global-security-newswire/report-north-korean-missile-launch-site-work-restarted-20131202