December 16, 2019 10:11
The test of another submarine-launched ballistic missile could be among provocations North Korea is preparing as a year-end deadline for nuclear talks with the U.S. looms.
Satellite photos show trucks and personnel moving around a barge used to test submarine-based missiles at North Korea's Nampo shipyard.
Victor Cha and Joseph Bermudez at the U.S. Center for Strategic and International Studies wrote on the website Beyond Parallel on Saturday that "minor activity" involving a submersible test stand barge has been spotted there.
Satellite photos show what appears to be netting partially removed from the test barge, while small trucks and some personnel are gathered around. Also, a vessel capable of transporting missiles is being repaired nearby.
"There are no signs indicating that the submersible test stand barge is being prepared for an imminent SLBM launch," they said but added, "Despite this, readiness of the test stand barge indicates that a SLBM demonstration should not be ruled out as a potential upcoming demonstration with just over two weeks left in [North Korea's] professed end-of-year diplomacy deadline."
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