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North Korea Missile Test Preparations Revealed In Satellite Images (PHOTOS)

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This satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows the rocket engine test stand, right, and instrumentation site, left, at North Korea's Tongchang-ri Launch Facility | PA

North Korea's preparations for a disputed long-range missile test have been revealed by new satellite photos.

The pictures reportedly show empty fuel and oxidiser tanks and a mobile radar trailer.

According to the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, the North Korean regime has made "extensive preparations" for the planned launch in April.

The pictures show the Tonchang-ri site, and its large antenna dish which is used in radar tracking.

It also shows a mobile radar trailer at the end of a dirt track.

North Korea said it is planning the launch for between 12 and 16 of April, to coincident with the 100th anniversary of former leader Kim il-sung's birth.


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North Korea claims the launch is peaceful, but the US and South Korea believe it is part of a long-term plan to develop missiles which can reach as far as the United States.

The launch potentially contravenes UN resolutions which were put in place after a preview missile launch in 2009.

The BBC said the rocket could fly between Australia and the Philippines.

Japan has already threatened to intercept the missile if it flies over its territory.

On Monday the regime announced new leader Kim Jong-un would head a meeting of the Worker's Party on 11 April, before the launch, which could consolidate his grip on power.

Meanwhile North Korean state media announced it had produced a new feature film.

Named "Little Girl Presenting Wild Flowers", the film is based on a girl who once gave flowers to Kim Jong Il

The North Korean media agency said: "Through the portrayal of the genuine and simple soldier standing firm guard over her post, always bearing deep in mind the honor of pleasing Kim Jong Il, the film impressively tells where the worth of living of the soldiers in the Songun era is."