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As tensions rise ahead of the planned North Korean launch of their Kwangmyongsong-3 ("Bright Shining Star-3") satellite, there is extreme skepticism that the Unha-3 rocket was built for peaceful operations at all. The 30-meter (100-ft) long vehicle could be a ballistic missile developed to delver warheads. But the official word from Pyongyang is that the rocket is being used to launch an observational satellite intended to monitor North Korean forests, natural disasters and weather monitoring. So, this is all the information the world has to go on.
In an effort to model the launch of the Unha-3 rocket, the visualization company Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI) has produced a cool animation showing the planned launch trajectory advertised by the North Korean government The visualization begins shortly after launch from Sohae Satellite Launching Station in the Cholsan County of North Phyongan Province. The launch site is only 35 miles (50 kilometers) from the city of Dandong on the Chinese border.