Published: Sun, March 10, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

North Korea 'preparing rocket launch'

North Korea 'preparing rocket launch'

The images appear to show increased activities around a site, known as Sanumdong, where North Korea assembles its ballistic missiles and rockets. The think tanks said on Thursday that they believed the launch site was operational again.

Asked the same day if he was disappointed about the recent North Korean activity, Trump told reporters, "It's disappointing", while adding without elaborating, "We'll see". You were going to war, folks, whether you know it or not ...

The deal's signing came days after the two countries eliminated their huge springtime military drills and replaced them with smaller training to back diplomatic efforts to strip North Korea of its nuclear weapons.

Trump described how he would be "very disappointed" if North Korea were planning to resume weapons testing. He went as far late a year ago as saying they "fell in love", but the bonhomie has failed so far to bridge the wide gap between the two sides.

The US administration will not accept any gradual denuclearization of North Korea, a senior State Department official said, just as John Bolton threatened Pyongyang with tougher sanctions, following the unproductive Hanoi summit.

State department spokesman Robert Palladino affirmed Washington's commitment to stay engaged with Kim, however, telling journalists on Thursday the administration was ready for "constructive negotiation".

U.S. officials have said Washington believes the "final, fully verified denuclearization" of North Korea is still possible by the end of Trump's first term.

"We are watching in real-time developments at Sohae and we will definitely be seeking clarification on the purposes of that", he said.

South Korean newspapers reported that Suh Hoon, director of the country's National Intelligence Service, told MPs that cargo vehicles had been detected carrying supplies to the missile research centre at Sanumdong, near Pyongyang.

Kim pledged at a first summit with Trump in Singapore in June that the engine test site and launch platform at Sohae would be dismantled.

The Sanumdong factory produced the Hwasong-15 ICBM, which can fly more than 13,000 km (8,080 miles).

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Following the stalemate in Hanoi, researchers said this week that Pyongyang was rebuilding the Sohae long-range rocket site after Kim had agreed previous year to shut it as part of confidence-building measures.

A State Department official told the Wall Street Journal that the USA doesn't know why there were works at the site and noted that the situation is being monitored.

North Korea-focused website 38 North says commercial satellite images from March 6 indicate that the launch site appears to have returned to "normal operational status" after rapid construction there.

New satellite images have surfaced showing activity at a North Korean missile assembly site.

Noting that the system in North Korea is driven from the top down, he said, and the US President understands this very much, and that's why he seeks to direct engagement with Kim Jong-un to invest him in a shared vision of that brighter future that could happen if they denuclearise.

North Korean documentaries are typically propaganda venerating Kim, the subject of a strong personality cult among the North's 25 million people. "There is no evidence to suggest anything more than that". "And we'll look at ramping those sanctions up, in fact".

South Korean President Moon Jae-in delivers a speech during a ceremony celebrating the 100th anniversary of the March First Independence Movement against Japanese colonial rule, in central Seoul, South Korea, March 1, 2019. "This poses challenges for the US goal of final, irreversible and verifiable denuclearization". The panel urged United Nations member states to "enhance their ability to facilitate robust information exchange" on North Korean cyberattacks with other governments as well as domestic financial institutions.

"All parties must have reasonable expectations, and should not set the bar too high at the outset, or make unilateral, unrealistic demands", Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters.

The Hanoi summit broke down due to disputes over US-led sanctions on North Korea.

"We have sufficient time", he said, without mentioning a deadline for reaching an agreement so the goal could be met.

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