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Inside North Korea's Space Center

Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) writes | more than 2 years ago

Space 0

Hugh Pickens writes writes "BBC reports that nobody would describe North Korea's mission control as imposing. It is a small, unremarkable, two-story building, tiny compared to Nasa's Houston home in America or Russia's space command. But the North's secretive regime, now headed by the third of the Kim dynasty to rule here, Kim Jong-un, is opening up, for the first time in an attempt to allay fears it is about to test missile technology that could deliver a warhead as far as America. "Sixteen technicians man the satellite command center. Dressed in white coats, like doctors, they sit behind computer screens," writes Damian Grammaticas. "On a big screen are live pictures from the launch pad, showing North Korea's rocket being fuelled up. The satellite it will carry has already been loaded on board, we are told." Pyongyang says the minibar refrigerator-sized satellite covered with solar panels and golden foil to protect its instruments will broadcast martial music praising North Korea's founder, Kim Il Sung and is designed to monitor weather, natural disasters and agriculture patterns. As the five-day window for North Korea's rocket launch opens today, the United States has warned a launch would be a breach of UN Security Council resolutions that ban the North from testing missile technology. If North Korea goes ahead it could lead to UN sanctions, it has warned. ""That's why we have invited you, to clearly show that this is a satellite launch not a ballistic missile," says Paek Chang-ho, head of the satellite control center. "I hope you become supporters in showing the transparency of our satellite launch.""

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