Does North Korea prepare another missile test at Kalma Ballistic Missile Test Site? Several reports from last week's speculated that there are signs for such test ( 38north.org, yonhapnews, nytimes) . Although we can not confirm the experimental realization, iSi’s experts did found new indicators supporting those early assumptions
As 38north.org mention “Kalma was used in 2016 to flight test the “Hwasong-10” (KN-07/Musudan) intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) on
at least four occasions”. Therefore, it’s a logical assumption that the same site reused for future ICBM test.
As part of the ISI’s research team effort monitoring the launch site, we spotted suspicious activity pointing to the building of a new launch pad.
Apparently began in late December 2016. Also, we spotted an unusual intense activity of combat aircraft near the launch site at Kalma International
Based on EROS B very high-resolution satellite imagery, the analysis shows that there has been construction work on the launch site including
preparation of a new launch pad sizing 12 x 12 m. Construction of new access roads and suspect revetments connected in a direct way to the launch
area. Possibly for logistics area during the launch (and preparation). Other signs include preparations of people and vehicles. Cleaning and removal of
trees and vegetation adjacent areas.
In addition to the activity at the launch site, there are signs of fighter jets deployment at the nearby airfield. This deployment is an important
indication which supports the hypothesis of unusual activity.
The analysis shows that in January 2017 the fighter jets came out from their storage area to the open tracks. This move is the first one in recent times
which a large number of fighter jets can be observed openly at Kalma International Airport.
No doubt that indicators such as unusual activity at the launch site plus the wide deployment of fighter jets nearby meant to show off capabilities and intentions. Coupling Trump’s inauguration, events can indicate on North Korea’s desire to signal to someone watching her.