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New satellite image shows signs of activity at N. Korean missile site: CNN

North Korea 09:57 January 27, 2020

SEOUL, Jan. 27 (Yonhap) -- Recent satellite imagery has shown vehicle activity at a missile research center in North Korea, suggesting early preparations for a missile or missile engine test, CNN reported Sunday.

Vehicles have been spotted at the Sanumdong missile research center near Pyongyang in recent days, CNN said, citing administration and defense officials.

CNN reported that the "activities are consistent with what we've seen prior to other missile tests."

The report said the vehicles do not seem to be involved in fueling missiles and that U.S. officials are not certain whether North Korea is moving toward the launch of a short- or medium-range missile or an engine test.

The officials said there are no signs of an imminent test but did not rule out the possibility, CNN added.

The recent activity could be part of North Korea's effort to mislead U.S. intelligence, as Pyongyang is aware its missile sites are monitored by U.S. satellites, the report said, citing researchers at the Middlebury Institute.

Vehicle activities may also suggest a leadership visit to the factory that could come either at the beginning or the end of the construction of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) or space launcher, CNN said, quoting Jeffrey Lewis, director of the Institute's East Asia Nonproliferation Project.


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