North Korea tested a long-range rocket engine in August, possibly for a large new rocket under development, according to a think tank at Johns Hopkins University.
Johns Hopkins University’s US-Korea Institute posted on its 38 North website an analysis of satellite imagery from August 20 – 25 that suggested rocket launching activity at the country’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station.
Imagery displayed blackened vegetation that was likely caused by flames and exhaust from the engine, according to the report.
The report could not identify the exact make of the rocket engine, but said it was possibly the “second stage of an Unha-3 space launch vehicle.”
“Other possibilities include a second or third stage engine for a much larger DPRK rocket believed [to be] under development,” the report says.
North Korea successfully launched a long-range Unha-3 missile last December in defiance of international warnings.