Seoul on Alert as N.Korea Prepares Missile Launch

  • By Yu Yong-weon

    March 12, 2019 11:02

    South Korea is closely monitoring North Korea for any preparations for a missile launch at its newly reopened missile test site, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday.

    Asked about activity at a missile assembly plant in Sanum-dong in the suburbs of Pyongyang, JCS spokesman Kim Joon-rak told reporters that the JCS is "keeping its eyes on all the possibilities." That includes monitoring the missile launch site in Tongchang-ri with the help of a U.S. surveillance satellite.

    The military here is chiefly dependent on the U.S. Forces Korea's spy planes and satellite images because the targets are located north of Pyongyang a long way from the demilitarized zone.

    Last Friday, reports said that a rocket seemed to have been moved by train from Sanum-dong to Tongchang-ri. Back in 2012 and 2016, the North also moved booster rockets from Sanum-dong to Tongchang-ri by train before it launched two long-range rockets that were prototypes for intercontinental ballistic missiles.

    But it was not clear what was on the train and whether the regime actually moved rockets to Tongchang-ri because the cars were covered with tarpaulin.

    "The North laid a railroad to an underground tunnel at the Tongchang-ri test site several years ago, making it difficult for even the U.S. spy satellite to snoop," a government source here said.

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