Seoul detects signs of N. Korea reassembling part of missile site

TOKYO, South Korea has detected signs of North Korea restoring an ancillary building of its Dongchang-ri long-range missile launch site that it partially disassembled last year, Yonhap News Agency reported Wednesday. The North began the work to tear apart the ancillary building for rocket assembly, a launch pad and a railway linking them last June and suspended it the following month, and that the signs of the North reassembling the building have recently emerged, a government source in Seoul was quoted as saying. “There are no signs yet of restoring that railway, but there are signs that (the North) appears to be focusing on reassembling the ancillary building,” the source said.

On Tuesday, Beyond Parallel, a project of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, also said that its satellite imagery analysis showed Pyongyang is pursuing a “rapid rebuilding” of the site on its west coast in what may be a move to demonstrate “resolve” in the face of US rejection of its demands for sanctions relief.

The North apparently started to dismantle the missile site as US President Donald Trump and leader Kim Jong-un agreed during their first summit in Singapore in June to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula with little clarity on how to achieve that goal.

Beyond Parallel cited “evident” activity at the missile site’s vertical engine test stand and its launch pad’s rail-mounted rocket transfer structure. “This facility had been dormant since August 2018, indicating the current activity is deliberate and purposeful,” it said. 38 North, a US website monitoring the North, said that efforts to rebuild these structures started between Feb. 16 and Saturday last week.

Source: Kuwait News Agency