Published: Sat, July 28, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

N Korea Begins Dismantling Rocket Test Site

N Korea Begins Dismantling Rocket Test Site

"Trump was speaking to Monday's report from 38 North, a U.S. website specializing in North Korea analysis, which cited last week's satellite imagery as showing the dismantlement of facilities at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station".

North Korean state media placed more pressure on South Korea to implement its inter-Korean summit agreements to work towards the "historic task" of ending the Korean War, reported South Korean news outlet Yonhap on Monday (Jul 23).

The activity at Sohae satellite launching station, a missile test site about 200km northeast of Pyongyang, involved equipment used to prepare rockets and a test stand used to develop liquid-fuel engines for ballistic missiles.

Pompeo declined to respond when asked whether North Korea was continuing to pursue submarine-launched ballistic missiles or whether its nuclear programme was advancing generally.

And he said some in China, Russia and South Korea are pointing to a Singapore summit between leaders of the U.S. and North Korea as justification for relaxing sanctions.

"Unless they dismantle the whole site, it will remain North Korea's premier location for space launches", she said on Twitter.

"It is a better sign than nothing, and I believe (the North) is moving step by step toward denuclearisation", he added.

When asked if the dismantling of the test site, despite a lack of US inspectors on the ground, is a sign of success, Heather Nauert, spokesperson for the State Department, replied, "Verification is obviously something that is paramount", adding that the USA government "will be looking for" such inspections by "legitimate groups and done by legitimate countries".

Melissa Hanham, senior research associate with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, said that while dismantling the engine test site was a "good move", it amounted to "the bare minimum" that could be done at Sohae.

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Sharif's party has accused the powerful military for weeks of attempting to throw the election to opposition figure Imran Khan. TV reports showed election workers sorting through massive piles of paper ballots at polling stations across the country.

They include the rocket engine rail-mounted processing building, where parts for space vehicles are assembled.

Trump told reporters after the June 12 summit that Kim had promised to destroy a key engine test site very soon.

"We ignored North Korea too long, and now it is about managing how many nuclear weapons and delivery systems they have, not if they have them".

Trump did not identify the site, but USA media subsequently reported it was the Sohae Satellite Launching Station.

"It is not on the radar, so to speak", the official said.

"We're hopeful we can get it done" by 2020, before the end of Trump's term, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at the time.

This month, the young leader toured industrial facilities and special economic zones near North Korea's border with China, often lambasting officials over delayed construction projects or lacklustre modernisation of production lines, Reuters reports. The two primary sanctions compliance risks are (1) inadvertent sourcing of goods, services, or technology from North Korea, and (2) the presence of North Korean citizens or nationals in those supply chains, whose labor generates revenue for the North Korean government.

Seoul's presidential office said Tuesday that it has been briefed on the movements and that it will have a positive impact on denuclearization.

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