North Korea reportedly restoring long-range rocket programmes

U.S. President Donald Trump right meets North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi Vietnam

A South Korean lawmaker confirmed to CNN that the National Intelligence Service believed that the Tongchang-ri site was being restored.

The development came after a high-stakes nuclear summit last week between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and USA president Donald Trump ended without any agreement.

There were concerns prior to the Hanoi summit that Trump's efforts to create peace with North Korea would ultimately fail.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton has warned North Korea it must be willing to give up its nuclear weapons programme or it could face tougher sanctions.

If they're not willing to do it, then I think President Trump has been very clear. Talks between the two leaders collapsed over differences on how far North Korea was willing to limit its nuclear programme and the degree of United States willingness to ease sanctions.

Map showing the Sohae rocket test site in North Korea.

New satellite evidence seems to indicate that North Korea is restoring one of its existing nuclear missile testing sites, CNN reported, citing North Korean websites.




The Sohae Satellite Launching Station launch pad features what researchers describe as the partially rebuilt rail-mounted rocket transfer structure, in a commercial satellite image taken over Tongchang-ri. "Significantly, the environmental shelters on the umbilical tower, which are normally closed, have been opened to show the launch pad".

The White House and the U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Yonhap report.

A USA government source said the South Korean intelligence agency cited by Yonhap 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.

Trump and Kim Jong Un are expected to meet on Wednesday and Thursday in Vietnam's capital.

North Korea is reportedly restoring facilities at the long-range rocket launch site it had dismantled a year ago. Beyond Parallel said that the construction at the site was "deliberate and purposeful". Because of this, it's impossible for them to tell if the construction began before, during, or after President Donald Trump's summit with Kim in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 28.

Joshua Pollack, a senior research associate at the James Martin Centre for Nonproliferation Studies, said: "Bottom line - this is movement in the wrong direction". He also mentioned that "the U.S.is even asking our advice, our views on this or that scenario of" how the summit in Hanoi could pan out. Dismantling this complex in particular had been a bargaining chip that Kim had reportedly offered during the Hanoi summit.

It said new roofs have been installed on the fuel and oxidiser buildings.

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