WASHINGTON - A new satellite image shows a marked increase in activity at a North Korean missile launch site, pointing to a possible long-range ballistic missile test by Pyongyang in the next three weeks, according to satellite operator DigitalGlobe Inc.

The imagery was released days after a Japanese newspaper, the Asahi Shimbun, reported that US intelligence analysts had detected moves that were seen as preparation by North Korea for a long-range missile launch as early as this month.

DigitalGlobe, which provides commercial satellite imagery to the US government and foreign governments, on Monday released a new image that it said showed increased activity at North Korea's Sohae (West Sea) Satellite Launch Station.

It said the imagery showed more people, trucks and other equipment at the site, a level of activity that was consistent with launch preparations seen before North Korea's failed April 13 rocket launch.

A Pentagon spokesman had no immediate comment.

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