North Korea is showing no sign of launching a military reconnaissance satellite, despite announcing plans to make a third attempt in October.
Pyongyang had tried to launch its Malligyong-1 satellite aboard the new type Chollima-1 rocket from the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in May and August. But both attempts failed due to rocket abnormalities.
The plan for the third launch was not announced domestically. But it is unusual for the country's administration, which values its reputation, not to carry out a plan that it notified other countries of.
Sources have told NHK that the expense of a launch and fear of another failure may be pushing Pyongyang to make detailed technological inspections and improvements.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency reports that no significant activity was confirmed at the launch site. It says North Korea may be taking time to determine the causes of the failures and receive technological support from Russia.
Yonhap quoted a South Korean expert as saying that the production of a third satellite may not yet have been completed after the loss of two earlier ones.
Pyongyang is believed to be proceeding cautiously, as a third consecutive failure could affect North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's reputation.