North Korea restored part of missile launch site it promised Trump to dismantle

Vastavam web: North Korea has restored part of a missile launch site it began to dismantle after pledging to do so in a first summit with U.S. President Donald Trump last year, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency and two U.S. think tanks reported on Tuesday. Yonhap quoted lawmakers briefed by South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) as saying that the work was taking place at the Tongchang-ri launch site and involved replacing a roof and a door at the facility.

Satellite images seen by 38 North, a Washington-based North Korea project, showed that structures on the launch pad had been rebuilt sometime between Feb. 16 and March 2, Jenny Town, managing editor at the project and an analyst at the Stimson Center think tank, told. “Activity is evident at the vertical engine test stand and the launch pad’s rail-mounted rocket transfer structure,” the CSIS report said. “Significantly, the environmental shelters on the umbilical tower, which are normally closed, have been opened to show the launch pad.”

The news comes days after a second summit on denuclearisation between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un broke down over differences on how far North Korea was willing to limit its nuclear programme and the degree of U.S. willingness to ease sanctions. Trump did not identify the site, but a U.S. official subsequently told Reuters it was the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground, which is located at Tongchang-ri.

Asked to comment, the White House referred to the U.S. State Department, which did not immediately respond. A U.S. government source said the NIS was considered reliable on such issues, but added that the work described did not seem particularly alarming, and certainly not on a scale of resuming missile tests that have been suspended since 2017.