North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station: Minor Activity

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu

Recent commercial satellite imagery of North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station indicates no new activity at either the Launch Pad or Vertical Engine Test Stand. Healthy vegetation around the exhaust flame chute indicates no engine tests have taken place in recent weeks.

A van that was parked near the VIP Observation Facility in imagery from May 10 is not present in imagery from September 8. No changes are observed at either the Horizontal Assembly Building or the security and administrative area.

A small complex west of the National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA) administrative building appears to have been razed and rebuilt between May 8 and September 10.[1] While the purpose of the complex is unknown, the cultivated fields around the complex suggest it may be farming related.

Figure 1. No changes to the Launch Pad.

Satellite image © 2019 Maxar Technologies. All rights reserved. For media licensing options, please contact [email protected]

Figure 2. No changes to the Vertical Engine Test Stand.

Figure 3. No vehicles at the VIP Observation Facility.

Figure 4. No changes at the Horizontal Assembly Building.

Figure 5. No vehicles at the Administrative and Security Headquarters.

Figure 6. A probable farming complex has been rebuilt west of the NADA administrative buildings.


  1. [1]

    This development was noted by Martyn Williams, editor of 38 North affiliate North Korea Tech.


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