A U.S. institute has said satellite images show North Korea is upgrading a launch site to handle larger rockets.
The U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said on May 22 that satellite images indicated North Korea has made "rapid progress" in the past year at the Musudan-ri site and might have demolished a nearby village in order to expand the facility.
The institute said the new construction could enable the site to launch rockets such as the Unha-3, a suspected long-range missile that failed during an April test, or even larger rockets.
Researchers estimate that the site could be operational by as early as 2016.
The findings of the institute were made public the same day North Korea's Foreign Ministry threatened "counter measures for self-defense" if the U.S. "persists in its moves to ratchet up sanctions and pressure upon us despite our peace-loving efforts."
Based on reporting by AFP and AP