North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station: More Activity at the Vertical Engine Test Stand

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu and Peter Makowsky

New commercial satellite imagery from December 11 indicates that activity continues at the Vertical Engine Test Stand at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, where North Korea announced an “important test” was conducted on December 7. A 10-meter-long truck is present adjacent to one of the newer fuel/oxidizer bunkers that may be the same vehicle as seen before in this area, although moved to a new position. A possible crane is nearby, but the limited resolution of this image precludes a more definitive assessment.

A vehicle is now present at the tracking and observation facility located west of the engine test stand.

Figure 1. Truck observed adjacent to one of the fuel/oxidizer bunkers at the Vertical Engine Test Stand.

Image Pleiades © CNES 2019, Distribution Airbus DS. For media options, please contact [email protected]

Figure 2. Close-up of possible crane and truck present at the Vertical Engine Test Stand.

Figure 2A. Close-up of the Vertical Engine Test Stand, December 8, 2019. Image © 2019 Planet Labs, Inc. cc-by-sa 4.0.
Figure 2B. Close-up of possible crane and truck present at the Vertical Engine Test Stand. Image Pleiades © CNES 2019, Distribution Airbus DS. For media options, please contact [email protected]

Figure 3. Vehicle present at the tracking and observation facility.

Image Pleiades © CNES 2019, Distribution Airbus DS. For media options, please contact [email protected]
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