Screen capture of video showing the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket launching at North Korea's West Sea Satellite Launch Site. Photo: Reuters via KCNA

Commercial satellite imagery from March 14 of North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station, Pyongyang’s main space launch facility, shows little general activity and no signs of a recent or forthcoming engine test or preparations for a satellite launch.

The analysis, posted on North Korea specialist website 38 North on Tuesday, suggests that Pyongyang is sticking with a promise not to conduct nuclear or missile tests in the lead up to a planned summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump in May.

“At the vertical engine test stand, the rail-mounted environmental shelter remains in the same position it has been since December 2017. At the launch pad, construction of a new building immediately to the south continues at a very slow pace, although its purpose is still unknown,” North Korea analyst Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. wrote in his piece for the Johns Hopkins University website.

Analysts have described previous satellite launches by North Korea as disguised missile tests.

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