North Korea

Satellite Photos Suggest North Korea Has Halted Long-Range Rocket Plans

Grass growing from foundation of rocket assembly building

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SEOUL, South Korea—An eight-month construction standstill at a North Korean site meant to launch bigger and better long-range rockets may signal Pyongyang is slowing or even stopping development of larger rockets, according to a new analysis of recent satellite imagery.

The sight of unfinished roads and grass growing from the foundation of a large new rocket assembly building could be welcome news for Washington and others who see Pyongyang's nuclear and missile work as a threat — though it is unknown if the work stoppage is only temporary.

Another unknown is why North Korea stopped construction on the launch pad, rocket assembly building and launch control center at what was intended to be a major new facility at the Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground on the northeast coast, according to analysis provided to The Associated Press by 38 North, the website for the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.