North Korea could carry out a long-range missile test in the next three weeks, suggest new images released by satellite operator DigitalGlobe Inc showing increased launch site activity.

The global provider of commercial high-resolution satellite imagery said yesterday that the new pictures showed significant movement at North Korea’s Sohae (West Sea) Satellite Launch Station.

“Given the observed level of activity noted of a new tent, trucks, people and numerous portable fuel/oxidizer tanks, should North Korea desire — it could possibly conduct its fifth satellite launch event during the next three weeks,” it said.

DigitalGlobe said the type of activity was consistent with preparations observed before North Korea’s failed launch of its Unha—3 missile in April.

Pyongyang insisted that the April launch bid was aimed at putting a satellite in orbit, but the United States and United Nations denounced the mission, arguing that it was a disguised ballistic missile test.

(This article was published on November 27, 2012)
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