News Daily Spot: Fears raised North Korea gearing up to launch long range missile in just a few months time

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Fears raised North Korea gearing up to launch long range missile in just a few months time

NORTH KOREA has finished upgrading its main rocket launchpad, doubling the size of rockets it can handle and sparking fears it may be gearing up for a fresh round of missile testing.

Kim Jong-un poses at a missile centre during a nuclear weapons drill in 2013
Satellite images taken of the pariah state showed construction begun earlier this year at the Sohae launch centre had been completed. 
The pictures have fuelled speculation the North is preparing a long-range rocket launch to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of its ruling Workers' Party on October 10.
And in a rare press briefing yesterday, the country’s ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Jang Il-Hun said he could not "rule out the possibility" of a test in October as part of a "grand" celebration.
Work to extend the launchpad means it can now handle a rocket twice the size of the 30-meter Unha-3 rocket launched in December 2012.
The US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University, which has analysed the photos, said the work had been a success. 
But they added that there were "no indications" that test preparations at Sohae were underway.
"There is also no public evidence to suggest that a decision has been made by the leadership in Pyongyang to move forward with a launch," it added.
In May, the rogue state’s brutal leader Kim Jong-Un vowed to press ahead with missile launches, saying "space development can never be abandoned, no matter who may oppose it".
The move to test long-range missiles would increase tensions on the already fraught Korean peninsula. 
ust this week, communist state officials warned the US they would “leave no Americans alive” if they were attacked.
North Korea conducted its third missile test of the year in June, and in May, the country boasted that it had successfully conducted an underwater test-fire of a submarine-launched ballistic missile. 
However, according to US analysts, a photo showing Kim pointing at a missile was doctored – and the country could be years away from developing the technology. 

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