New satellite pictures indicate North Korea most likely has tested one of its long-range-rocket engines — just a few months after Pyongyang defied international pressures and launched a rocket into space.
The images from August show new activity at the country's Sohae Satellite Launching Station, BBC reported. The satellite also showed what appeared to be vegetation that was blackened, likely from flames and exhaust from the engine.
Experts who analyzed the satellite image think the engine rocket test was conducted between Aug. 20 and 25, BBC reported.
The first picture showed a "probably rocket stage," 8 feet across and 30 feet high. Experts aren't sure what type of engine was tested, but they said that "it was possibly the second stage of an Unha-3 space launch vehicle. Other possibilities include a second or third stage engine for a much larger DPRK rocket believed [to be] under development."
The second satellite picture showed several changes at the launching site, including the movement of a crane that would be needed to transport the engine.
North Korea angered the international community by launching a rocket in December.
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