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North Korea completing large rocket pad: US think tank

Published on Feb 7, 2014 11:56 AM

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea has almost completed enlargement of its main satellite launch pad, allowing the launch of rockets up to 50 metres in length as early as next month, a US think-tank said on Friday.

The closely-followed 38 North website of the Johns Hopkins University's US-Korea Institute said recent satellite imagery showed gantry modifications at the Sohae launch site in northwest North Korea were almost finished.

The images revealed a new level had been added to handle rockets up to 50 metres in length - almost 70 percent longer than the Unha-3 rocket which successfully put a satellite in orbit in December 2012.

That launch was condemned by the international community as a disguised ballistic missile test and resulted in a tightening of UN sanctions.

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