Thursday, 15 November, 2018

North Korea Is Actually Dismantling a Key Nuclear Test Site - Leah Barkoukis

Images Show North Korea Dismantling Key Facilities at Satellite Launching Station North Korea Wants End to Korean War Before Talking Nuclear Weapons Surrender
Kenny Thornton | 24 July, 2018, 16:22

New satellite images suggest North Korea has begun to deliver on its promise to dismantle a rocket engine testing site at the heart of its ballistic missile programme.

The photos, which were captured by commercial satellites between July 20 and July 22, show that dismantlement has begun of the rail-mounted transfer structure on the Sohae launch pad, according to 38 North analyses.

According to The Associated Press, analysts say images show a rocket engine test stand and another building being razed by North Korean forces.

38 North said satellite images from Friday showed the roof and supporting structure partially removed from the rail-mounted processing structure for the launch pad and numerous vehicles were present, including a large crane.

"Since these facilities are believed to have played an important role in the development of technologies for the North's intercontinental ballistic missile program, these efforts represent a significant confidence building measure on the part of North Korea", the report said.

President Trump on Monday asserted that he's "very happy" with progress toward ridding North Korea of nuclear weapons, despite the stiff resistance that US officials have faced from the regime in the weeks since Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un.

The North suspended long-range missile tests and blew up its main nuclear testing site as goodwill gestures.

"And it seems like they are going step by step toward denuclearization", Nam said.

US soldiers stand guard next to the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission (UNCMAC) conference buildings at the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Paju, South Korea, on Wednesday, April 18, 2018.

Hilarious send-ups of Donald Trump's extraordinary Iran rant
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo holds a press briefing at United Nations headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., July 20, 2018.

Citing an unidentified US official, CNN reported Monday that Trump had "privately expressed frustration over the perceived lack of progress in the talks".

"A Rocket has not been launched by North Korea in 9 months", Trump wrote in a morning tweet.

Officials estimate the work started in the last two weeks.

But while the dismantlement of Sohae gives Trump some breathing room after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's uneventful talks recently in Pyongyang, Carnegie's Schoff was wary of the North using the move to push for a peace regime. "In many ways the lack of trust is the enemy we now have to defeat", he said. In both images, the two newer fuel/oxidizer bunkers and vehicle garage remain untouched, as does the concrete foundation of the test stand. "Likewise, no Nuclear Tests".

The 38 North report comes amid growing questions about North Korea's willingness to live up to the commitments Kim made at the June summit, particularly to work toward denuclearization.

While several members of the media have decided President Donald Trump's negotiations with North Korea have mostly failed, new commercial satellite imagery of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station may soon have some reporters eating crow. "Japan is happy, all of Asia is happy", he said.

A report in The Washington Post at the weekend said that in spite of positive assessments Trump has given on progress with North Korea, he has vented anger at aides over a lack of immediate progress.

Last week, Trump said there was "no rush" and "no time limit" on denuclearization negotiations.

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