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No-dong - Probable Range Control Facility

The probable range control facility is located 850 meters to the Northwest of the launch pad. Along with the launch pad, this facility is roughly oriented 35 West of North [with incidental variations of a few degrees off this axis], and this common orientation provides a clear indication of the association of this facility with the launch pad. The primary connection to the rest of the launch complex is through an apparently unpaved road, about 3 meters wide, though numerous other lesser trails and paths criss-cross the area.

This facility consists of a cleared area extending roughly 55 meters by 75 meters. The Northwestern half of the cleared area is apparently at slightly higher elevation than the Southeastern half, which is closest to the launch pad, as there is an berm bisecting the area. The lower forward area is entirey clear of vegetation. At least two and probably four unresolved point objects [somewhat larger than one meter acrosss] are evident in this cleared area, disposed symetrically across the clearing. The rear of the upper area away from the the launch pad is partially overgrown with vegetation, though the perimeter line remains visible.

The primary access road enters the facility from the Southwest, and the area immediately inside the entrance appearears to consist of a paved pad, 25 meters by 25 meters. A multi-story multi-level building, about 14 meters by 14 meters, adjoins this pad in the center of the facility, with another single story building, about 12 meters by 12 meters, in a line to the Northeast. A possible small concrete pad, about 3 meters by 8 meters, lies Northwest of this single story building.

Another small building, about 5 meters by 10 meters, is located in a small clearing about 25 meters Northwest of the primary facility. Other clearings and trails are evident throughout the area.

This facility probably provides range control and launch management in support of test flight campaigns. The isolation of the facility from the launch pad and the Missile Assembly Building are evidence that actual flight hardware is not associated with this facility. The probable concrete pad at the entrance to the main cleared area, as well as the cleared forward portion of this area, are probable locations for portable radar and optical tracking equipment. The unresolved symetrical points in the forward cleared area may represent hardpoints for the emplacement of such equipment temporarily deployed to this facility to support launch operations.

This one-meter resolution black-and-white image of Tae Po Dong, North Korea was collected November 1, 1999 by Space Imaging's IKONOS satellite. The image features the Tae Po Dong missile facility.
Credit: "spaceimaging.com."

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Updated Sunday, January 09, 2000 7:14:16 AM