Report: N Korea retains missile base in mountainous region

31-Dec-2016 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Satellite images of North Korea indicate Pyongyang retains a missile base near Kumchang-ri, in a mountainous region of the country’s northwest.

According to Strategic Sentinel, a US provider of geospatial intelligence, aerial photographs of North Korea taken between 2010 and 2014 indicate the regime maintains an underground missile hangar called a silo, Voice of America reported Thursday.

The base in North Pyongan Province is similar to a facility in Iran and is located close to a wide road and buildings that appear to be centers of missile assembly, according to the report.

The missile base is a new discovery and is located about 13 miles from Panghyon Airport, which South Korea’s military has said may have been the test site of an intermediate-range Musudan missile in October.

Analysts at Strategic Sentinel told VOA Tuesday the base has been kept confidential and includes facilities that could store missiles.

The most significant feature of the base is the silo, a subterranean missile launch containment facility.

A 7.4-metre wide sliding cover shields the hangar, and the facility is identical to the Iranian missile base in Tabriz, according to the Strategic Sentinel analysts Ryan Barenklau and Nathan Hunt.

Barenklau said the Iran silo design was provided to North Korea, as Tehran’s silos were built between 2000-03, well before Pyongyang embarked on its path to be recognised as a nuclear weapons state.

Barenklau said the facility provides strong and concrete proof Iran and North Korea worked together on a missile programme, according to VOA.

In 2012, South Korea and Japan media reported Iranian missile experts took part in the test launch of North Korea’s long-range rocket Unha-3.


Category: Korea

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