N. Korean launch site activity indicated

Nov. 27, 2012 at 7:38 AM
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PYONGYANG, North Korea, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- New satellite imagery indicates greater activity at a North Korean launch site, indicating a launch could happen within a few weeks, the satellite company said.

DigitalGlobe analysis said the image at North Korea's Sohae satellite launch station, taken Friday, shows preparations similar to that seen before the failed April 13 attempt to launch a satellite on a long-range missile, CNN reported Monday.

"Given the observed level of activity noted of a new tent, trucks, people and numerous portable fuel/oxidizer tanks, should North Korea desire -- it could possibly conduct its fifth satellite launch event during the next three weeks," a DigitalGlobe analysis indicated.

U.S. officials said they've seen the activity, but don't believe a launch is pending because no missile has been seen on the pad, CNN said.

If a launch were to occur, it likely would be a long-range missile because the Sohae site is a long-range missile launch pad, the sources said.

North Korean leaders repeatedly vowed to conduct what they call scientific satellite launches, saying it's within the country's sovereign rights, South Korea's Arirang News reported.

China, one of North Korea's few allies, reportedly does not favor a launch.

Yonhap News Agency, citing a South Korean military official, reported the information indicated to South Korean officials Pyongyang likely would launch a missile in December or January.

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