(Sankei: July 30, 2015 – p. 5)
Johns Hopkins University released a report on July 28 stating that North Korea has completed repair work on a missile launch pad in Tongchang-ri which it had been working on since this spring. To prepare for possible contingencies, the government intends to strengthen surveillance of the missile facility and information gathering in cooperation with the United States and South Korea.
A senior Foreign Ministry official said: “We are very interested in North Korea’s missile development,” although the official avoided referring to information about the completion of North Korea’s repair work. A senior Defense Ministry official stressed that “the ministry is taking every possible measure to collect and analyze information.”
The government attaches importance to cooperation with the U.S. and South Korea on the issue of Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile development programs. The missile launch pad repair work will likely be taken up during a meeting of deputy chief delegates to the Six-Party Talks from Japan, the U.S., and South Korea to be held on July 31 in Tokyo. A senior Self-Defense Forces (SDF) officer said: “Japan cannot defend against missile threats from North Korea and other countries without the U.S.’s cooperation.”
Observers have pointed out that Pyongyang may conduct a long-range missile launch test in October to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Korean Workers’ Party