U.S. says peace regime with NK after denuclearization

U.S. says peace regime with NK after denuclearization

The 38 North think tank said images showed work at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station to dismantle a building that is used to build space-launch vehicles and a nearby rocket engine test stand used to develop liquid-fuel engines for ballistic missiles.

US President Donald Trump said North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un had vowed to destroy an engine test site, but did not specify which one.

The publication of the new images emerged just hours after Donald Trump refuted what he called "fake news reports" that claimed that he was somehow frustrated over the lack of progress of the North Korean denuclearization agreed upon at the Singapore summit last month.

New satellite images suggest North Korea has begun to deliver on its promise to dismantle a rocket engine testing site at the heart of its ballistic missile programme.

Those reports indicate that North Korea's only official nuclear enrichment site at Yongbyon is being upgraded, and that the country was stepping up enrichment at other secret sites.

This July 22, 2018, satellite image released and annotated by 38 North on Monday, July 23, 2018, shows what the USA research group says is the dismantled engine test stand at the Sohae launch site in North Korea.

US officials have repeatedly said North Korea has committed to giving up a nuclear weapons program that now threatens the United States, but Pyongyang has offered no details as to how it might go about this.

Meanwhile, a missile-engine testing facility that Trump said would be destroyed remains intact, and US intelligence officials say Pyongyang is working to hide key aspects of its nuclear program.

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, it added.

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Earlier this month, satellite images posted online by researchers show North Korea continuing to expand a ballistic missile manufacturing site while also upgrading a separate nuclear facility.

"This could - and that's a big "could" - mean that North Korea is also willing to forgo satellite launches for the time being as well as nuclear and missile tests".

Amid speculation that North Korea hadn't done enough to work towards that goal, Trump took to Twitter to clarify.

At the conclusion of that meeting, Trump said Kim committed to a major missile engine test site.

The diplomatic offensive has tamped down tensions after fears of nuclear war rose past year as the communist state demonstrated strong advances with a series of missile launches and its sixth and most powerful nuclear test.

The U.S. State Department did not have an immediate comment on the negotiations, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on June North Korea had made a commitment to unilateral return the first remains "in the next couple weeks".

By July 22, significant progress had been made at the site. Another facility was identified as a space-launch vehicles and a rail-mounted processing building.

North Korea has carried out a total of six nuclear tests, the most recent in September 2017.