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Proof Kim really IS dismantling his nuclear arsenal: Satellite images show the North Korean dictator’s bomb factories lying ruined after his pledge to Trump at historic Singapore summit

  • In Singapore summit on June 12, Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un discussed plans to denuclearize North Korea 
  • New pictures released this week appear to show the dismantling of facilities at North’s Sohae satellite station
  • Sohae is believed to have played a part in developing the country’s intercontinental ballistic missile program 

23 July 2018

Satellite images appear to show that North Korea has started to dismantle a key nuclear test site.

The images come more than a month after Kim Jong Un pledged to denuclearize his country following a historic summit with President Donald Trump in Singapore.

The accord did not specifically spell out any time scales for the process or how it would be carried out.

But new satellite images, which have not been verified by outside experts, appear to show the dismantling of facilities at the Sohae satellite launching station.

North Korea appears to have started dismantling key facilities at a rocket-engine test center, a group of experts said, potentially marking a significant step after last month's summit between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump

North Korea appears to have started dismantling key facilities at a rocket-engine test center, a group of experts said, potentially marking a significant step after last month’s summit between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump

Satellite images appear to show the apparent dismantling of facilities at the Sohae satellite  launching station, North Korea

Satellite images appear to show the apparent dismantling of facilities at the Sohae satellite launching station, North Korea

Sohae has been the main site for North Korea’s satellite launches since 2012.

It is believed to have played a large role in developing the country’s intercontinental ballistic missile program, according to 38North, which released the satellite images.

The new images, which were reportedly taken on July 20 and July 22, appear to show that the rail-mounted environmental shelter at the site has been dismantled and moved.

Space launch vehicles were assembled at the shelter – which hadn’t been moved since December 2017 – before they are moved to the launchpad, according to 38North analyst Joseph Bermudez Jr.

The image also appears to show that the test stand superstructure has been completely dismantled and that the base is being removed.

North Korea appears to have started dismantling key facilities at a rocket-engine test center, a group of experts said, potentially marking a significant step after last month's summit between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump

North Korea appears to have started dismantling key facilities at a rocket-engine test center, a group of experts said, potentially marking a significant step after last month’s summit between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump

‘The rail-mounted environmental shelter has been razed and removed, the older fuel/oxidizer bunkers are in the process of being razed, and portions of the test stand’s upper steel framework have been dismantled and its paneling removed,’ Bermudez wrote.

‘Two days later fewer vehicles are present and the test stand superstructure has been completely dismantled, leaving only the base, which is also in the process of being removed.’

‘Given the state of activity, work is likely to have begun sometime within the past two weeks.’

The images also appear to show that the dismantling of the old fuel/oxidizer bunkers has also started and is partially demolished.

A construction crane can be seen in the middle of the site with dismantled parts scattered around it. It is placed in front of the rail-mounted processing structure, which is partially dismantled.

Bermudez’s timeline indicates that, if the images are accurate, the Sohae dismantling may have begun after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo paid a visit to to the country to follow up on progress from the summit.

Joel Wit, 38North’s founder, said the images could indicate that North Korea is willing to ‘give up its space launch program’.

‘Only one step in the right direction, but an important one,’ wrote Writ, a former State Department negotiator with the country.

In May, images seemed to indicate that North Korea had destroyed the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, the only known nuclear test site in the country.

But analysts warned that experts needed to verify these images, and just last month US intelligence officials revealed to the Washington Post they believe North Korea is trying to conceal nuclear weapons from the US.

While news of his satellite site spread, Kim Jong Un appeared to enjoy himself on a trip to a nursery in Kangwon Province this week.

Wearing a sun hat, white shirt and grey trousers, he can been seen smiling as he walks through a greenhouse.

In another picture Kim Jong Un looks deep in thought as somebody explains the large orange silo bins.

It comes amid a claim that talks aimed at the denuclearization in North Korea hinge on the US’s willingness to agree to a peace treaty with Kim.

Washington may have to make a ‘bold move’ for a lasting peace to replace the existing armistice agreement that brought an end to hostilities in the Korean War, a source said.

An official with knowledge of North Korea’s position on the matter told CNN that Pyongyang may abandon talks on denuclearization if the US does not agree to such a deal.

President Trump would need the backing of two-thirds of the Senate to secure a legally binding peace treaty.

Kim Jong Un looks on at some machinery as he visits a nursery in Kangwon Province, while a worker explains its usage

Kim Jong Un looks on at some machinery as he visits a nursery in Kangwon Province, while a worker explains its usage

But Trump said on Monday he was ‘very happy’ with how talks were progressing.

‘A Rocket has not been launched by North Korea in 9 months. Likewise, no Nuclear Tests. Japan is happy, all of Asia is happy,’ Trump tweeted.

‘But the Fake News is saying, without ever asking me (always anonymous sources), that I am angry because it is not going fast enough. Wrong, very happy!’

Trump appeared to be referring to an article in The Washington Post on Sunday that claimed the president was frustrated with the lack of immediate progress, despite his public statements claiming the talks were a success

The article cited unnamed White House aides, State Department officials and diplomats.

Today, meanwhile, South Korea’s defense ministry said it plans to reduce guard posts and equipment along the demilitarized zone on its border with the North, according to the Yonhap news agency.

The ministry said in a report to a parliamentary committee it plans to reduce some guard post troops and equipment as a preliminary test, and would then consider expanding the reduction, in order to realize an agreement to ‘transform the demilitarized zone into a peace zone’ made at an inter-Korean summit in April, Yonhap said.