Satellite photos show North Korea ‘dismantling rocket launch site’

By July 20 dismantlement had begun of the rail-mounted transfer structure on the Sohae launch pad

Trump said new satellite photos indicating the North has begun to take down facilities at the Sohae site are a sign of progress from the "fantastic" summit he held last month in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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.

They cited images of a building used to assemble space-launch vehicles being dismantled, and a test stand used for the development of liquid-fuel engines.

For that reason, he believes North Korea is disassembling the facilities as a "confidence-building measure" and a first step toward the Trump Administration's goal of "denuclearizing".

Over the weekend, a number of U.S. news outlets ran a story claiming that less than six weeks after Trump meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore, the USA president was growing increasingly impatient with the pace of talks on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

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.

"We're all pursuing the denuclearization of North Korea and a new future of prosperity, security and peace on the Korean Peninsula and all of Asia", Trump told a VFW convention in Kansas City, Missouri.

In both images the two fuel/oxidizer bunkers, main processing building and gantry tower remain untouched.

Basing their story on the report published in the Washington Post, the U.S. media noted that Trump has been asking for daily updates on the status of negotiations, allegedly criticizing the lack of dismantlement of a missile testing facility by the North that the U.S. leader hoped would be destroyed.

North Korea has carried out a total of six nuclear tests, the most recent in September 2017.

An official from South Korea's presidential office on Tuesday said Seoul has also been detecting dismantlement activities at North Korea's Sohae launch site but did not elaborate.

But the deal was criticised for a lack of details on when or how Pyongyang would renounce its nuclear weapons.

Until that action happens, the envoy went, on, "the Security Council's going to hold tight, the global community - we ask you to hold tight as we go forward".

"Dismantling a test site does not seriously constrain the existing arsenal or even future designs", said Mount.

Trump said last week that US relations with North Korea "are very good and the process is moving along".

Trump said last month after the summit that the North has already started "destroying a major missile engine testing site".

In more than a month since the summit, the U.S. has kept its end of the verbal agreement, but only on Monday did the West get any indication that North Korea was holding its.

Notably, the timeline of the satellite images suggests that North Korea may have begun dismantling the facilities at Sohae after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Pyongyang in early July in a bid to make progress on the agreement reached in Singapore.

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