PYONGYANG (Dispatches) –
Satellite images indicate North Korea may be modernizing and enhancing its satellite launch facility in Sohae, according to website 38 North.
New construction is taking place at an area along the coast previously used for agricultural purposes, according to the Washington-based website that tracks events in North Korea. Its findings were based on commercial satellite imagery of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station.
While its specific purpose is unclear, the new construction is likely to be part of the country’s efforts to modernize and enhance the satellite launch facility, it said.
The new construction began between April 19 and April 30, and a little more than a week later, the first floor of one of the buildings appears nearly complete, the website said.
North Korea last week said it will continue to enhance its nuclear war deterrent and exercise its right to self-defense in response to additional deployment of nuclear assets by the U.S. in the vicinity of the Korean Peninsula.
The U.S. military recently announced plans to deploy nuclear-armed submarines to South Korea in a purported move to show its resolve to protect Seoul against the North Korea.
North Korea strongly condemned the move which makes way for deployment of American nuclear assets to the Korean Peninsula.
The country’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), quoted Choe Ju Hyon, a senior international security analyst, as making the remarks early Monday.
Last week, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden, agreed on the regular deployment to the peninsula of strategic assets.
In line with the deal, Biden has pledged to deploy nuclear-armed submarines to South Korea for the first time in four decades to supposedly defend its ally against what they claim to be growing nuclear threats from the North.
Choe was cited by the KCNA as saying that the agreement has stipulated the allies’ willingness to take “the most hostile and aggressive action” against North Korea.
The stationing of American strategic assets has placed the situation of the Korean peninsula in a “quagmire of instability,” and is intended to build “aggressive and exclusive military blocs” in the region, the report said.
“It is just aimed to [allow the U.S.] dodge the responsibility for the worst-ever nuclear-related crimes it has committed by systematically destroying and violating the nuclear nonproliferation system, and in particular, pushing the situation of the Korean Peninsula to the brink of a nuclear war,” the report added.
Reacting to the agreement, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, warned that Pyongyang would strive towards “further perfection” of its nuclear deterrence.