Satellite images show North Korea is 'dismantling facilities at ballistic missile site'

Andrew Cummings
July 24, 2018

The think tank 38 North has obtained satellite images that they say show North Korea has begun dismantling key facilities at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, which is used to develop engines for ballistic missiles.

An official from South Korea's presidential office on Tuesday said Seoul has also been detecting dismantlement activities at the Sohae launch site but did not specify what the North was supposedly taking apart.

"Despite reports emerging about the supposed lack of progress on North Korea's denuclearization, .it appears Pyongyang has taken a first step toward fulfilling its June 12th Joint Statement with the U.S".

But while many believe the latest presumed efforts to dismantle the site may have a positive effect on denuclearizing the communist state, experts urge caution until the North completely abandons the area.

SOHAE SATELLITE LAUNCH PAD NORTH KOREA- JULY 20 2018 Figure 1. By July 20 dismantlement had begun of the rail-mounted transfer structure on the Sohae launch pad. Mandatory credit for all images DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images

Those planned missions never happened, however, as the Washington called off the deal after North Korea tested a rocket in early 2012, said Paul M. Cole, author of "POW/MIA Accounting".

The North Korea-focused 38 North website said commercial satellite images between July 20 and 22 indicate the North began dismantling key facilities at the Sohae launch site.

"North Korea wants the war declared ended sooner rather than later so trust can be built and progress on its worldwide standing can be made", he said, adding that any "reimbursements" were likely to violate sanctions.

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

The possibility of a permanent peace mechanism to finally end the war was included in both the Panmunjom Declaration signed by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in the inter-Korean summit and the agreement signed by Kim and President Donald Trump in Singapore.

The diplomatic offensive has tamped down tensions after fears of nuclear war rose a year ago as the communist state demonstrated strong advances with a series of missile launches and its sixth and most powerful nuclear test. Japan is happy, all of Asia is happy.

However, Mr Trump today said he was "very happy" with the progress in relations with North Korea, saying Pyongyang had not launched any missiles or carried out any nuclear tests during the last nine months.

"As we have stated before, we are committed to building a peace mechanism with the goal of replacing the Armistice agreement when North Korea has denuclearized", the official added.

A South Korean delegation that traveled to NY over the past weekend said Seoul needed to be exempted from some global sanctions against the North to implement the Panmunjom Declaration.

After an problematic meeting in Pyongyang involving Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a team of North Korean officials, the North criticized the USA 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.

The launching site played helped the rogue regime develop their intercontinental ballistic missile program.

Other reports by iNewsToday