SEOUL, Aug. 26 (UPI) — North Korea has been enhancing security at Sohae Satellite Launching Station, the site Pyongyang used to send a satellite into orbit in February.
In an analysis of satellite imagery for 38 North, a Johns Hopkins University website dedicated to North Korea issues, analyst Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., noted the security upgrades include an 18-mile outer security perimeter, and a 12-mile inner security perimeter.
Possible explanations for the changes include plans being made for new incoming residents such as Korean People’s Army engineers and personnel, and growing worry in Pyongyang that defectors and spies may infiltrate the site to collect intelligence for foreign governments, the analyst writes.
Security has been increasing at the site since 2000, when a guard position was set up at a point on the main access road, separating the site from neighboring villages.
A second guard position was built in December 2004, and short fences surrounded both guard positions, according to the analysis.
By 2011 a more “capable security perimeter” was visible as Pyongyang made improvements to the outer perimeter. A new guard position was erected in May 2015.
North Korea’s launch of a missile to send a satellite into space in February was condemned at the United Nations Security Council and culminated in new sanctions against the Kim Jong Un regime in March.