NK seeks breakthrough by dismantling missile facilities

NK seeks breakthrough by dismantling missile facilities

Satellite images appear to show that North Korea has begun dismantling key features of a rocket launch site used to develop engines for ballistic missiles.

Dr Narang says the Sohae test site could be destroyed, and North Korea could continue to improve their missile force and produce nuclear weapons.

U.S. President Donald Trump declared Monday that he is "very happy" with the pace of ongoing negotiations with North Korea to end Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program, rebuffing news accounts to the contrary.

The images published by 38 North, a US-based website focused on North Korea that is affiliated with the Stimson Center in Washington, were taken by the commercial companies Digital Globe and Airbus Defence and Space on July 20 and July 22, respectively.

Last Friday in NY, a high-level South Korean official who spoke on the condition of anonymity chose to convey that hope to reporters - just as Pompeo highlighted in a different news conference that all United Nations member-states unanimously agreed to fully enforce sanctions on the North. On November 28 previous year, North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that it claimed could reach the USA mainland.

Joseph Bermudez of 38 North stated the facilities are believed to have played an important role in the development of Pyongyang's intercontinental ballistic missile technologies, and "these efforts represent a significant confidence-building measure on the part of North Korea". Security journalist Ankit Panda noted that "the missile engine test stand - the long-awaited concession after June 12 [the Singapore Summit] - appears to be in a mostly reversible state".

The Sohae location has been the main site for North Korean satellite launches since 2012.

Determined to achieve commitment’ Pompeo on North Korean talks
Determined to achieve commitment’ Pompeo on North Korean talks

"North Korea has never once said, not once have they said that they're willing to unilaterally disarm and give up their nuclear weapons program".

Pyongyang expressed frustration at high-level talks with Washington held earlier this month, stating the USA made "unilateral, gangster-like" demands.

By July 22, significant progress had been made at the site.

The long-simmering topic was highlighted in a joint statement signed by Trump and Kim, with the USA and North Korea committing to recovering remains, "including the immediate repatriation of those already identified". "Japan is happy, all of Asia is happy", he tweeted earlier in the day. "The North can also fire ICBMs from transporter erector launchers, but their technology with these vehicles isn't stable". The North didn't turn it into a spectacle as they did with the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in May.

Adam Mount, a senior defence analyst at the Federation of American Scientists, said it's also troubling that the North has been apparently allowed to duck verification by unilaterally dismantling parts of its nuclear and missile facilities without the presence of worldwide inspectors.

"The U.S.is pressing South Korea to pay far more, especially in the name of operational support costs, which includes the deployment of so-called strategic assets such as aircraft carrier, long-range bombers and nuclear subs to Korea".

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