SOHAE, NORTH KOREA — U.S. officials say North Korea has been constructing several artificial islands for at least five years in the Yellow Sea near the City of Sohae.

Satellite images reveal that five artificial islands for unknown purposes have been erected near Sohae, a known testing site for intercontinental ballistic missile technology.

According to the Diplomat, three of the islands seem to have paved, rectangular slots which could be used to accommodate North Korean ballistic missile and its launcher. Other islands could be used to host underground missile silos, though it is not yet clear whether the islands can support such structures.

Experts say the islands are more likely used for shorter-range missiles, such as Scuds, if they are indeed used for missile launchers. However, according to Ryan Barenklau, chief executive of Strategic Sentinel, a Washington-based intelligence firm, there isn’t enough information to determine the purpose of the islands so they may even be used for agriculture.

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