Satellite Images: North Korea Begins Dismantling Main Missile Engine Test Site
New satellite images show North Korea apparently dismantling their main missile engine test site. An American research group hypothesized Monday that this is a sign that Pyongyang is fulfilling the promises North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made to President Donald Trump.
At the summit in Singapore last month, Kim Jong-un vowed to president Trump that he would denuclearize sending the left-leaning mainstream media into a frenzy, well, those who chose to report on the promise anyway. It now appears that Kim has taken some big steps toward making good on his promise to Trump, according to a report by Fox News.
According to an analysis of satellite imagery of the location by the North Korea-focused 38 North website, between July 20 and 22, the North Korean government appeared to be dismantling the Sohae launch site. Most notably, these deconstructions include the rail-mounted processing building where space launch vehicles are prepared before moving them to the launch pad, and the nearby rocket engine test stand which is used to develop liquid-fuel engines for ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles.
This comes not long after there were reports that North Korea was enhancing and upgrading parts of their nuclear test facility. According to the newest satellite imagery, however, some facilities on the site were either razed or taken apart completely.
Commercial satellite imagery of the launch pad from July 20 shows that the rail-mounted processing/transfer structure has been moved to the middle of the pad, exposing the underground rail transfer point—one of the few times it has been seen in this location. The roof and supporting structure have been partially removed and numerous vehicles are present—including a large construction crane. An image from two days later shows the continued presence of the crane and vehicles. Considerable progress has been made in dismantling the rail-mounted processing/transfer structure. One corner has been completely dismantled and the parts can be seen lying on the ground. In both images the two fuel/oxidizer bunkers, main processing building and gantry tower remain untouched. –38 North
New commercial satellite imagery of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station indicates that the #DPRK has begun dismantling key facilities, including the rail-mounted processing building and and the nearby rocket engine test stand.https://t.co/ffdQ23QaWG
— 38 North (@38NorthNK) July 23, 2018
“Since these facilities are believed to have played an important role in the development of technologies for the North’s intercontinental ballistic missile program, these efforts represent a significant confidence-building measure on the part of North Korea,” analyst Joseph Bermudez wrote in the 38 North report. Bermudez said the satellite images indicate that Pyongyang took “an important first step toward fulfilling a commitment made by Kim Jong-un.”