SEOUL, December 5 (Itar-Tass) — North Korea has completed the installation of all three stages of its long-range rocket at Tongchang-ri launching facility in the country’s northwest, a source in the government of the Republic of Korea reported on Wednesday.
All this, in his view, indicates that Pyongyang intends to actively continue preparations for the launch, ignoring warnings of the international community.
The planned launch will be North Korea’s second launch attempt under current leader Kim Jong Un following an abortive launch in April to celebrate the 100th birthday of North Korea’s first and eternal president Kim Il Sung. The rocket broke apart two minutes after liftoff on April 13 and crashed to the Yellow Sea 165 kilometres west of Seoul.
North Korea is believed to have completed the assembly of all three stages of the rocket on the launch pad, and some groups of workers are leaving the rocket launch facility, the official said.
Now North Korea is to mount auxiliary equipment, including radars, video cameras and measuring devices, after which the rocket’s fuelling will begin during the weekend.
Given this schedule, he said, the rocket launch may take place in the period from 10 to 12 December or at the very beginning of the 13-day “window” - from 10 to 22 December, announced by Pyongyang.
Although North Korea has announced plans to launch into orbit “a working satellite,” many countries believe that the country, in fact, intends to test an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear weapons, the Yonhap news agency reports.