Veteran space journalist James Oberg is in Pyongyang this week, part of a delegation of “foreign experts and journalists” the North Korean government invited to observe a controversial satellite launch scheduled for no earlier than April 12.
“We are visiting the launch site and other mission preparation facilities, we’re taking photographs and videos, and our hosts will try to convince the world through us of the reality of the ‘peaceful satellite’ that is mounted atop the Unha-3 booster at the Koreans’ new launch site in the far northwestern corner of the country,” Oberg wrote in an April 9 dispatch for MSNBC.com.
“The fact that the North Koreans are looking for this kind of outside verification is a welcome sign. Yet even now, progress remains slow. The launch is only days away, but until now there have been no photographs or even drawings of the satellite whose existence we are supposed to validate.”