DPRK Prepares for New Rocket Test

January 29, 2016

UPDATE: February 3, 2016:
For the latest on this story, view:
North Korea Announces Rocket Launch February 8-25


Satellite imagery of the Sohae Satellite Launch Center, North Korea.

Satellite imagery of the Sohae Satellite Launch Center, North Korea.

Recent activity at the Sohae Satellite Launch Center indicates that North Korea may be preparing for a rocket engine test or the launch of a long-range rocket. Since December 2015, commercial satellite imagery indicates vehicle and equipment movement, and the clearing of snow around both the rocket engine test stand, the main launch pad, and facilities and accommodations for high-level personnel.

The Sohae Satellite Launch Center is North Korea’s newest and most advanced launching station located on its west coast near Tongchang-ri. Construction since 2014 indicates that North Korea will expand its launch activities at Sohae. The gantry tower was extended to prepare it for a much larger rocket than has ever been seen in North Korea. New support facilities on the main pad, extended rail lines, and refurbishment of its fuel and oxidizer support mean that North Korea is able to keep its rocket hidden from view and can prepare for launch more quickly than ever before. The rocket engine test stand has also been refurbished with facilities capable of sheltering equipment from satellite view.


CNS experts are available for comment:

Jeffrey Lewis, Director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program (EANP)

Melissa Hanham, Senior Research Associate, EANP

Catherine Dill, Research Associate, Export Control Program

David Schmerler, Research Associate

Media Resources

CNS and NTI have the following resources for media:

Comments Are Closed