New satellite images analysed by the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University, released on the 38 North web site in January 2014, indicate that work is under way to modify the gantry tower at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station. North Korea’s Sanumdong missile research center has seen a flurry of vehicle activity in recent days, according to U.S. officials, citing satellite imagery. This site is critical due to its role in recent missile and missile engine tests. If it is a leadership visit to the factory, that could come either at the beginning or the end of the construction of an ICBM or space launcher," said Jeffrey Lewis, director of the Institute's East Asia Nonproliferation Project. North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnOvernight Defense: Biden nets military family endorsements | Final debate features North Korea exchange | Judge refuses to dismiss sexual assault case against top general Biden: Obama wouldn't 'legitimize' North Korea with meeting How Trump and Biden contrast on foreign policy MORE recently announced Pyongyang’s intention to develop “strategic” weapons to push back against “hostile” U.S. policy. "The unusual traffic is difficult to interpret. The center compared the recent images with those taken back in 2009 and confirmed that a new facility was erected on what was once a wasteland. Vehicles were photographed moving in and out of the North's research facility at Sanumdong, a senior official told Reuters. With fears rising that the North�s military provocations could also threaten the U.S. mainland, Washington is expected to take stronger responses. The report said the findings are the latest to show that activity continues inside the North's nuclear and missile facilities, even after the June 2018 summit between the United States and North Korea. Sanumdong has been associated with the regime's long-range missile program. Despite what top administration officials have said publicly, the US is still closely watching activity at Sanumdong. The images were taken right before the US-North Korea summit in June last year and in March this year, after the second summit in February. Vehicle activity at Sanumdong has been intermittent in recent months. It is currently located in Pyongyang. In June, senior officials cited by US media said intelligence agencies believed North Korea had no intention of giving up its nuclear arsenal, and that the state had increased production of fuel for nuclear weapons. "The unusual traffic is difficult to interpret. (CNN)Recent satellite imagery shows vehicle activity at a critical North Korean missile site that could potentially signal early preparations for a missile or missile engine test, according to one administration official and three defense officials familiar with the latest US assessment.
The images from March show that a large building that was under construction last year appears to have been completed and multiple other buildings expanded. The latest assessment came after the head of the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee stressed the need for the U.S. to expand its missile defense systems amid threats from North Korea and Iran.
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