Tuesday, 22 October, 2019

Images indicate North Korea dismantling test site facilities

Images indicate North Korea dismantling test site facilities Images indicate North Korea dismantling test site facilities
Patty Aguilar | 24 July, 2018, 09:56

The July 20 images showed work at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station to dismantle a building used to assemble space-launch vehicles and a nearby rocket engine test stand used to develop liquid-fuel engines for ballistic missiles and space-launch vehicles, the 38 North think tank said.

The publication of the new images emerged just hours after Donald Trump refuted what he called "fake news reports" that claimed that he was somehow frustrated over the lack of progress of the North Korean denuclearization agreed upon at the Singapore summit last month.

The North Koreans have started taking apart the engine test stand at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, said Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., an expert on North Korea's weapons programs, in the report on 38 North.

Senior U.S. officials called on Kim on Friday to act on his promise to give up his nuclear weapons and said the world, including China and Russian Federation, must continue to enforce sanctions on Pyongyang until he does so.

Gen. Vincent Brooks, the commander of US forces on the Korean Peninsula, said on Friday that the challenge with North Korea is making progress despite a lack of trust on both sides.

Diplomats say the North Koreans have canceled follow-up meetings, demanded more money and failed to maintain basic communications, even as the once-isolated regime's engagements with China and South Korea flourish.

After an problematic meeting in Pyongyang involving Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a team of North Korean officials, the North criticized the US for making unilateral demands of North Korea while ignoring Pyongyang's expectations, with a peace treaty being high on the country's list of demands. Pompeo later denied that a meeting was planned, a claim contradicted by diplomats who said the secretary initially meant to see the North Korean leader.

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If the U.S. is unwilling to replace the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War with a permanent peace that would ensure the survival of Kim's regime, Pyongyang will likely not proceed further with denuclearization talks, the source said.

Despite the recent reports of Pyongyang possibly expanding its nuclear arsenal, Brooks emphasized that the country has not conducted a ballistic missile test in nearly a year.

"Discussions are ongoing and they're going very well", Trump told reporters Tuesday. "Japan is happy, all of Asia is happy", Trump wrote earlier Monday.

The coal was marked as Russian in origin and was imported by a South Korean company, but the ministry suspected that the cargo originated from North Korea and reported it to Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha. The North, however, kept USA defense officials waiting for three hours before calling to cancel, the diplomats said.

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

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets scientists and technicians in the field of researches into nuclear weapons in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang March 9, 2016.

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