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North Korea Is Upgrading its Musudan-ri Missile Launch Site Making The Facility Capable of Firing an ICBM

 
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05/16/2012 09:54 AM
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North Korea Is Upgrading its Musudan-ri Missile Launch Site Making The Facility Capable of Firing an ICBM
Apparently undeterred by the catastrophic failure of what Pyongyang claims was a rocket putting a satellite into orbit in April from its facility at Tongchang-ri, North Korea is now investing in a larger launch pad at its alternative launch site, diplomatic sources told media in South Korea and Japan.

Officially known as the Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground, Musudan-ri is in the far north-east of the Korean Peninsula and was originally used in the 1990s to test-fire Scud missiles that it built based on Soviet designs.

The site underwent a major upgrade in the 1990s, including the construction of a missile assembly facility, and the site was used to launch numerous weapons, including the intermediate-range Taepodong-1 missile.

In April 2009, North Korea attempted to put the Bright-Star-2 satellite into orbit from Musudan-ri atop a Taepodong-2 rocket. In spite of North Korean claims that the launch had been a success, international space agencies were unable to find any evidence the satellite had reached orbit.

North Korea conducted a series of engine combustion tests for long-range missiles at the site from late 2011 and, with the regime defying world opinion for its last launch, the analysts believe the next missile could be fired from Musudan-ri.

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