Home > North Korea, WMD > Details Emerge on North Korean Missile Launch Site

Details Emerge on North Korean Missile Launch Site

April 14, 2011

globalsecuritynewswire

North Korea’s second missile launch complex is five times bigger than its first site and seems to be better shielded from a potential attack, the Korea Herald reported on Monday (see GSN, Feb. 18).

In addition to being much larger than the first launch installation at Musudan-ri, the Dongchang-ri complex along the North’s west coast is also closer to China, which is likely to make any attack on the site more complicated for South Korean and U.S. forces, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported.

An underground missile fueling center has been constructed at Dongchang-ri in order to escape monitoring by U.S. spy satellites. The facility also has the ability to house liquid fuels for extended periods of time, according to the article.

Work on the facility started in 2002, 10 years after the Musudan-ri site was set up, government sources told the Chosun Ilbo. Recent reports have suggested that construction of the Dongchang-ri site has been completed.

Dongchang-ri is located just 43 miles from the Yongbyon nuclear complex where North Korea has carried out much of its nuclear weapons development efforts. The proximity to Yongbyon would lessen the time and expense of transporting nuclear warheads for attachment to missiles at the new launch site, analysts said.

Pyongyang is not believed to have yet developed the ability to miniaturize nuclear warheads for fielding on long-range ballistic missiles (Song Sang-ho, Korea Herald, April 11).

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