Activity detected at North Korean missile test site, official says

WASHINGTON - North Korea may be preparing to launch a rocket or missile, according to a U.S. defence official and expert analysis of commercial satellite imagery.

See Full Article

The analysis published Thursday comes just three weeks after North Korea drew international condemnation for conducted its fourth nuclear test explosion.

The official told The Associated Press the U.S. has seen activity at a ballistic missile test site that is consistent with previous tests, but the official would not go into more detail. The official was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and requested anonymity.

The North Korea-focused website, 38 North, said it has detected what could be the early stages of preparation for launching a space launch vehicle at the nation's main rocket launch site at Sohae. It based its findings Thursday on satellite imagery taken this week.

North Korea fired its first rocket into space from Sohae, on its west coast, in December 2012, sending into orbit a satellite that soon malfunctioned. The North has said it has the right to launch rockets any time for its space program, but such long-range launches have drawn UN sanctions because similar technology can be used for development of ballistic missiles.

The UN Security Council is deliberating over how to respond to the Jan. 6 underground nuclear explosion. The U.S. is pressing for tighter sanctions - a step that China, the North's only ally, appears reluctant to take.

Governments and experts have been skeptical about North Korea's claim it tested a hydrogen bomb, but whatever device the North detonated, it will likely push the country a step closer toward its goal of manufacturing a miniaturized warhead to place on a missile that can threaten the U.S. mainland. A major launch would only deepen those concerns.

Initial word of a possible launch came Wednesday. The Japanese news agency, Kyodo, cited an unnamed Japanese government source as saying that satellite imagery analysis showed the North may be readying to fire a long-range ballistic missile from Sohae, and that the launch could occur in about a week at the earliest.

The 38 North analysis said a rocket test in the coming week appeared unlikely. Imagery from Monday showed vehicles or equipment and personnel near the rocket launch tower, but a rocket wasn't visible. The website said there's a high level of uncertainty about what snapshots of activity at the launch pad offered by the commercial imagery indicate.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner declined to comment Thursday on the reports of preparations for a missile test, saying it was an intelligence matter.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Mexican mafia ran jail crime like an 'illegal government,' L.A. authorities say

    World News CTV News
    LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles jails are run by the county sheriff, but the Mexican Mafia wielded the power in the underworld behind bars. Authorities say they diminished the influence of the organization made up of leaders from various Latino gangs. Source
  • B.C. firefighters tackling new wildfires near Kamloops and Lillooet

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER - Firefighters in British Columbia have been called out to deal with a pair of new wildfires. The BC Wildfire Service says crews and aircraft are tackling a wildfire measuring about 50 hectares about 55 kilometres northwest of Kamloops and producing smoke that is visible in several communities in the region. Source
  • Newly released reports highlight chaos of Las Vegas shooting

    World News CTV News
    LAS VEGAS - Gunshots came so rapidly during the deadliest mass shooting in the nation's modern history that one Las Vegas police officer feared he was facing a fully stocked assault team with tactical gear. Source
  • Republicans to meet with intelligence officials on Russia probe

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - House and Senate lawmakers are set to meet with top intelligence officials as U.S. President Donald Trump raises new suspicions about the federal investigation into his 2016 campaign. In recent days, Trump has been zeroing in on and sometimes embellishing reports that a longtime U.S. Source
  • North Korea slams 'ignorant' Pence remarks, threatens to scrap summit

    World News CTV News
    TOKYO - North Korea has renewed its threat to pull out of a summit next month with U.S. President Donald Trump, saying it is just as ready to meet in a nuclear confrontation as at the negotiating table. Source
  • Two killed after train plows into truck stopped on tracks in Italy

    World News CTV News
    ROME - A regional train plowed into a big-rig truck stopped on the tracks outside the northern Italian city of Turin late Wednesday, killing at least two people and injuring 18, authorities said. Rescuers worked through the night to make sure no passengers were trapped in the wreckage. Source
  • FBI works to thwart major cyberattack on Ukraine

    World News CTV News
    LONDON - The FBI has put a spoke in the wheel of a major Russian digital disruption operation potentially aimed at causing havoc in Ukraine, evidence pieced together from researchers, Ukrainian officials and U.S. court documents indicates. Source
  • North Korea renews threat to quit summit with Trump

    World News CBC News
    North Korea has renewed its threat to pull out of a summit next month with U.S. President Donald Trump, saying it is just as ready to meet in a nuclear confrontation as at the negotiating table. Source
  • 2,000 people forced from homes as 51 fires rage across Manitoba

    Canada News CTV News
    More than 2,000 people have been forced from their homes, at least 600 from the Little Grand Rapids and Pauingassi First Nations, as dozens of wildfires blaze through Manitoba. There are 51 fires currently active in the province. Source
  • U.S. launches national security probe of vehicle imports

    World News CBC News
    The Trump administration on Wednesday launched a national security investigation into car and truck imports that could lead to new U.S. tariffs similar to those imposed on imported steel and aluminum in March. The Commerce Department said the probe under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 would investigate whether vehicle and parts imports were threatening the industry's health and ability to research and develop new, advanced technologies. Source