Trump Tells VFW Convention North Korea to Return US Remains Soon

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

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

New images published Monday by the prominent monitoring group 38 North indicate North Korea has begun dismantling key facilities at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station - a move analysts say represents "an important first step towards fulfilling a commitment" made by Kim Jong Un during his summit with President Donald Trump in Singapore.

A satellite image released by 38 North on Monday showing the partial dismantling at the Sohae launch site in North Korea.

North Korea appears to have started removing key facilities, such as a missile transfer structure and a rocket engine test stand, used to develop engines for ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in the northwestern province, satellite photos revealed by 38 North showed.

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.

Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in Singapore last month for an unprecedented meeting between a USA president and his North Korean counterpart. Fuel and Oxidizer bunkers are in the process of being demolished, while the steel framework of the test structure has been "completely dismantled", according to 38 North.

Kim told both Mr. Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in that "he was prepared to denuclearize", Pompeo said.

After his summit with Kim in Singapore on June 12, Trump said he was told by Kim that the North was "already destroying a major missile engine testing site" without identifying which site.

In one set of images, it appears that a rail-mounted processing building is being dismantled.

But according to recent reports based on United States intelligence leaks, North Korea might secretly still be continuing its weapons programme.

But while the dismantlement of Sohae gives Trump some breathing room after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's uneventful talks recently in Pyongyang, Carnegie's Schoff was wary of the North using the move to push for a peace regime.

Officials estimate the work started in the last two weeks.

"I worry that Trump might lose patience with the length and complexities of negotiations that are common when dealing with North Korea, and was away and revert back to serious considerations of the military option".

North Korea has insisted Sohae was only for developing satellites, but US officials suspect it has also been used to ideal ICBM technology as the communist state sought to develop a nuclear weapon that could target the USA mainland.

The US, troubled by this obvious betrayal of the spirit of the agreement, then exited the deal.

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

"This is consistent with North Korea's public line, which is that its successful test program is now transitioning to mass production of nuclear and missile systems", he said. He said the North's action was an important development and may lead to more activities at the area.

A South Korean delegation that traveled to NY over the past weekend said Seoul needed to be exempted from some worldwide sanctions against the North to implement the Panmunjom Declaration.

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