07/24/2018, 09.42
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Pyongyang begins dismantling missile launch site

Satellite photos show that the North Koreans have begun to dismantle the Sohae Satellite Launching Station. Seoul monitors the situation. "In all likelihood it will have a good effect on denuclearization. It is a small signal, we believe that North Korea is moving step by step towards denuclearization ".


Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - North Korea has taken a first step towards denuclearization. Satellite images taken on July 20 show that the structures of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, a launching base for the missiles, is being dismantled. The news was reported by 38 North, a site that monitors military activities in the peninsula.

The Sohae site includes a railway and a platform where the missiles are assembled before being placed on the launch pads. The photos show that even the test bases for rocket engines, ballistic missiles and space launch vectors are about to be decommissioned.

A Seoul intelligence official said: "We have found that North Korea partially dismantled the crane tower on the launch platform on July 20 and 22."

Seoul is monitoring developments. At present it would seem  that the North Koreans are willing to respect the pacts signed with the President of the United States Donald Trump, at the Singapore summit on 12 June. Trump had announced that Kim Jong-un would begin to destroy a missile launch site.

A senior officer from the South Korean National Security Office (NSO), Nam Gwan-pyo, comments: "In all probability it will have a good effect on denuclearization. It's a small sign, and I think [North Korea] is moving step by step towards denuclearization. "

Satellite images follow the dispute between Washington and Pyongyang on speed and the procedure to follow for denuclearization. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in his talks in early July with his North Korean counterpart had said the talks had been "productive". However, North Korea had accused the United States of making "mob" requests.

Nam sees in the dismantling of the missile testing site the fact that North Korea is pushing ahead in its efforts towards denuclearization despite frictions with the United States.

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