North Korea rebuilding launch sites


Dylan Maynard, reporter

Satellite imagery suggests North Korea may be taking steps to reactivate a partially decommissioned long-range rocket test site on the west coast of the country.

Experts say they see evidence that workers are re-building at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station. In a matter of days, a rocket engine test stand and a large transfer structure have been reassembled.

News of the apparent activity comes less than a week after a second summit between the U.S. and North Korea ended in stalemate. President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Feb. 27 and 28. But the two sides wrapped up talks early, after it became apparent that they were far apart on any deal over the North’s nuclear program.

North Korea wanted sanctions relief in exchange for the dismantlement of a major nuclear weapons research site at Yongbyon. The U.S., meanwhile, insisted that the North must surrender its entire nuclear program in exchange for economic benefits.

The Sohae facility, also referred to as Dongchang and Tongchang, is the site from which North Korea attempted satellite launches in 2012 and 2016. It’s also the location of a test stand Pyongyang has used to fire some of its rocket engines on the ground.