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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Musudan-ri/Musudan-ni Missile Test Facility

Digital Globe Imagery 29 March 2009

New Imagery Reveals The North Korea Launch Vehicle On The Pad

New imagery of the Musudan-ri Missile Test Site taken on 29 March 2009, released by DigitalGlobe shows what clearly appears to be a three-stage launch vehicle on the launch pad. Based on imagery alone, it cannot be determined whether this is a Taepo-dong ICBM or a space launch vehicle carrying the Kwangmyeongseong-2 (Lodestar) satellite payload. News reporting from DoD officials have indicated that North Korea has been in the process of loading the first and second stages on the launch pad.

This commercial satellite imagery obtained from DigitalGlobe, clearly confirms recent NBC News reporting from DoD officials that North Korea was in the process of loading the first two lower stages of the rocket.

The service-level swing arms appear to be rotated away from the launch vehicle. The loading of liquid fuel from nearby fuel storage buildings and final check-out procedures could take place in the next few days.

Click on the small image to view a larger version

A three-stage launch vehicle is clearly visible on the pad at Musudan-ri, North Korea as of 29 March 2009.

Imagery Source: DigitalGlobe

The three stages of the launch vehicle are clearly visible. It cannot be determined from satellite imagery alone whether this is a ballistic missile or a space launch vehicle carrying the Kwangmyeongseong-2 (Lodestar) Satellite as the North Korean's claim.

Imagery Source: DigitalGlobe

The service level swing arms are rotated away from the rocket. At this point there are no additional visible signs indicating an impending launch.

Imagery Source: DigitalGlobe

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