By Adam Levine
In an unprecedented move, North Korea allowed international media, including CNN's Stan Grant, Tim Schwarz and Scott Clotworthy, to visit its Tongchang-ri launch site and see, for the first time, the Unha-3 rocket being readied for its launch.
Until now satellite imagery had shown preparations of the launch pad but no rocket had been seen. These are the first pictures of the rocket, taken by CNN's Tim Schwarz.
As Stan Grant reports, the Kim Jong-Un government opened up the launch pad to the media intending to prove it is launching a satellite for scientific research, and not a missile test. Still, much of the world suspects this is the launching of the next phase of the regime's missile program, meant to test missile technology under the guise of a satellite launch.
The head of the launch site, Jang Myong Jin, told CNN's Stan Grant he is "disturbed" by these allegations.
"Can't you see with your own eyes this is not a missile, this is why we invited you," Jang Myong Jin told CNN's crew.
The tour included the launch pad, the satellite itself, and the control center. (see the video here).
The launch is scheduled to take place between April 12 and 16th to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of communist North Korea's founder, and grandfather of the current leader, Kim Il Sung.