Weeks ago, in early September, we noted how North Korea was preparing for an "October Surprise," one where the rogue nation could launch a ballistic missile(s) ahead of the U.S. presidential elections.
New commercial satellite imagery from Sept. 22 of North Korea's Mirim Parade Training Ground, "reveals a probable missile-related vehicle at the secure storage compound," according to a report by the website 38 North.
"While imagery resolution is insufficient to determine exactly what the vehicle is, relative size and shape suggest that it may be a transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) for a large missile," the think-tank said.
The size of TEL suggests the vehicle is sufficient enough to carry a Hwasong intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
The change in coloring going toward the cab suggests that there may be a missile on the transporter, and the light color may represent the missile or a light-color tarp draped over the missile airframe. However, again, the imagery resolution precludes a clear determination on this matter.
A dark, irregular line perpendicular to the possible missile transporter is likely an assembly of equipment and/or troops.
Beyond that activity, approximately 50 large troop formations can be seen around the parade ground, similar, but larger in number to those reported from the previous analysis. There is also another large, casual grouping of personnel, located at the plaza at the far west side of the complex. - 38 North
Figure 1. Possible TEL At Mirim Parade Training Ground
At the end of the report, 38 North acknowledged there "may be other possibilities about what this large vehicle is, such as a low-bed trailer with a Maz-like tractor, they seem unlikely in this particular location and circumstance."
An October Surprise could be the launch of ballistic missile(s), either by land or by sea, ahead or during the Oct. 10 holiday, marking the 75th anniversary of the Workers' Party of Korea.
The launch of missiles would signal the lack of progress between the Trump administration and North Korea in the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.