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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Nick Hansen
New satellite imagery shows North Korea is conducting major new construction to expand facilities at a launch site where it fired a rocket into orbit last December, a U.S. research institute said Friday.
Satellite photos show North Korea is "nearing completion" of a small nuclear reactor that can produce plutonium for atomic weapons and presents the risk of a nuclear accident, analysts say.
New satellite images indicate that snow may have slowed North Korea's rocket launch preparations, but that Pyongyang could still be ready for liftoff starting Monday.
North Korea has stopped construction on a launch pad where intercontinental-range rockets could be tested, an interruption that possibly is due to heavy rains and that could stall completion up to two years, according to an analysis of new satellite imagery.
In an analysis of commercial satellite imagery, the U.S.-Korea Institute's Jeffrey Lewis and Nick Hansen said external construction of the reactor building and underground pipes that will carry water to cool the reactor core are complete.