Date
10 December 2018
Kim Jong-un is not making any serious effort to follow through on his promise to work toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, say observers. Photo: Reuters
Kim Jong-un is not making any serious effort to follow through on his promise to work toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, say observers. Photo: Reuters

N Korea likely halted rocket launch site dismantling: think-tank

Satellite photos from last week indicate North Korea halted work to dismantle a missile engine test site in the first part of August, despite a promise to US President Donald Trump at a June summit, a US think-tank said on Wednesday.

According to the Washington-based think-tank 38 North, commercial satellite imagery of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station taken on August 16 indicated “no significant dismantlement activity” at either the site’s engine test stand or launch pad since August 3, Reuters reports.

There had been some progress earlier — from July to early August — in tearing down the test stand, but “the components previously removed remain stacked on the ground,” the think-tank said 

It said work to take down a rail-mounted transfer/processing building at the launch pad also appeared to have stalled.

The 38 North report comes at a time of widespread doubts about North Korea’s willingness to go along with US demands for it to give up its nuclear weapons.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report on Monday that it had not found any indication that North Korea had stopped its nuclear activities.

During a June 12 summit in Singapore with Trump, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had agreed in broad terms to work toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

However, several members of the US negotiating team said they had seen no progress toward denuclearization and no sign that North Korea was prepared to negotiate seriously until the US promised relief from sanctions in return.

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RC

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