A new satellite image reportedly shows new activity at North Korea's Dongchang-ri missile launch site which has previously been used to test-fire skud missiles and satellites.
CNN reported on Thursday that it had obtained an image captured by Planet Labs showing a large shipping container at the facility that was not there several days ago.
A government official confirmed the South Korean military is suspecting the North may be preparing for an engine combustion experiment, necessary for firing missiles from transporter erector launchers.
Seoul's defense ministry on Friday officially declined to comment on the activity at the launch site, but said it's working with the U.S. to closely monitor the North's movements.
In response, the U.S. has sent reconnaissance planes over the Korean peninsula in an apparent mission to track North Korea.
According to a privately run military aircraft tracker Aircraft Spots, U.S. Air Force RC-135S reconnaissance plane, dubbed the Cobra Ball was spotted flying over the East Sea on Friday morning.
The Cobra ball is capable of collecting data on submarine-launched ballistic missiles and submarine bases as well as tracking the flight path of ballistic missiles from afar.
This follows a series of multiple U.S. spy jets flying over the peninsula since November 28th, when North Korea fired two projectiles from a super-large multiple rocket launcher the 13th round of major weapons tests the regime has conducted so far this year.
Local media outlets in South Korea have raised speculations that the North is gearing up for a plan B in case there's no progress in denuclearization talks with the U.S. as the North's unilateral year-end deadline for denuclearization talks draws near.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.