North Korea
File Picture - Imagery released in 2009 by North Korea of its second satellite launch on the Unha-2 rocket. The Unha-3 rocket is larger and more advanced. Both previous satellite launch attempts have failed. KCNA

In what appears to be extremely bad news for the international community, recent reports suggest the possibility of North Korean-Iranian cooperation in Pyongyang's new launch facility.

Recent satellite images published by the thinktank 38 North of the US- Korea Institute at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) specify the latest activities at the new facility at Musudan-ri in North Korea.

The new construction appears to be an Iranian model of the recently constructed horizontal assembly building of Semnan launch complex in Iran which is equipped to handle a new large liquid fuelled rocket.

The latest available images which were taken on 29 April indicate the quickly reviving construction of the new launch facilities. The construction has been underway since mid 2011. The facility is to allegedly provide more support for the future rocket launches.

"Present are a flame trench orientated slightly downhill toward a stream, foundations for fuel and oxidizer tank buildings that bracket the flame trench, a dam up-stream connected by a pipeline to a water tank at the main facility and three other completed buildings. The most unusual feature is a white circular structure that surrounds where the rocket will stand when erected on the pad, the purpose of which is unclear," said the analysis report penned by the foreign weapons expert Nick Hansen.

The available materials clearly point out that the facility will be more capable of launching liquid fuelled space launch satellites or even ballistic missiles with intercontinental range.

However the report also added that it would be premature to come to any conclusion but it is not possible to rule out the possibility of the cooperation between the two notorious countries.

"The North Korean facility, however, seems to have a similar layout, with labs and what appear to be administrative offices on the sides of the high bay building. But there are also clear differences; for example, the "T" building at the end of the North Korean structure is not present in Iran," added the report.

The two countries have worked together in the past in many of the ballistic missile and space launch vehicle development programmes which possibly forms the premise of the assumption.