USA issues advisory on NK sanctions evasion tactics
28 July, 2018, 09:58 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
If the analysis of the satellite imagery is accurate, North Korea may be taking a small but significant step toward the disarmament that was agreed upon by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump during a landmark meeting in Singapore on June 12.
According to US -based North Korea monitoring website 38 North on Monday, new commercial satellite imagery of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, the regime's main satellite launch facility, shows the North has started dismantling key facilities.
Noting that considerable progress has been made in dismantling the rail-mounted processing/transfer structure, it said one corner has been completely dismantled and the parts can be seen lying on the ground.
Anchor: North Korea appears to have begun dismantling facilities at its missile engine test site in North Pyongan Province.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects 525 factory in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
We are "working to bring back the remains of your brothers-in-arms who gave their lives to Korea", Trump said in an address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars group.
This month, the young leader toured industrial facilities and special economic zones near North Korea's border with China, often lambasting officials over delayed construction projects or lacklustre modernisation of production lines, Reutersreports. US officials later confirmed that the site that the USA president was referring to was Sohae.
For now, the only concrete results of the Washington-Pyongyang thaw are the North's halt to nuclear and missile testing and the American side's suspension of planned military maneuvers with South Korea, long denounced as a "provocation" by Pyongyang.
"They can blow the engine test site that they don't need anymore, while at the same time mass producing the missiles that they once tested there, and enriching the uranium at Yongbyon, and the covert facility".
It comes as the Trump administration has vowed to keep sanctions on Pyongyang until it makes progress toward dismantling its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
But any hopes of economic prosperity following the talks have proven to be misplaced, with state-owned media on Monday seeking to ready the country for "belt-tightening" amid signs of stalled denuclearisation talks.
Seoul's presidential office said Tuesday that it has been briefed on the movements and that it will have a positive impact on denuclearization.
Trump said last month after the summit that the North has already started "destroying a major missile engine testing site".
However he indicated that no progress had been made on a key USA demand - that North Korea disclose the range of its nuclear capabilities, saying: "An initial declaration.is something that is at the very forefront of what. we think, makes sense to get them to a point where we can verify their full denuclearisation".
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