DigitalGlobe Conducts Analysis for Media on Tongchang-ri Launch Facility in North Korea
Today, DigitalGlobe conducted a press briefing on the North Korean launch facility at Tongchang-ri. The facility was the site of a recent press visit, a sign that the North Koreans were trying to be more transparent with their space program.
DigitalGlobe's analyst, Joseph Bermudez, showed various imagery (see below) that showed modernization and beautification efforts by the North Koreans prior to the visit by international press. Launch platforms and vehicle assembly areas had been recently paved and trees added. Of most interest was an infrared image of the launch engine test facility (image not available) clearly showing burn areas where vegetation had been scorched. In general. DigitalGlobe has interpreted that a launch vehicle is on the pad but whether the vehicle is a missile or a rocket with another payload could not be determined.
The 50cm image below of the launch pad was acquired on March 28, 2012.
The image below was acquired on April 6, 2012 and clearly shows the landscaping improvements made to the perimeter of the facility.
Images below were acquired on April 9, 2012. Analysis conducted by DigitalGlobe.
Source: Images (c) 2012 DigitalGlobe, Inc.