Seoul: North Korea has almost completed the restoration of a key long-range rocket launch site in Dongchang-ri, according to South Korea’s spy agency National Intelligence Service (NIS).
“The North started the reassembly work before the Hanoi summit. We cannot verify what that means,” Yonhap News Agency quoted NIS as saying.
Pyongyang had allegedly begun to disassemble part of its facilities in July 2018 following the first US-North Korea summit where Kim Jong-un, the reclusive state’s leader, agreed to complete denuclearisation.
This comes amid a deadlock between Washington and Pyongyang, following the Hanoi summit which ended abruptly last month without a joint agreement. Speculations are rife that North Korea may launch a missile or a rocket with a satellite in an apparent show of frustration due to the impasse.
The NIS also added that North Korea is keeping its uranium enrichment facility in Yongbyon in “normal operation.”
This is the same nuclear facility that North Korea offered to completely dismantle in exchange for sanction waivers during the second US-North Korea summit in Hanoi last month.
In fact, North Korea had stopped the operation of a five-mega-watt nuclear reactor at the complex last year, the spy agency noted.
US President Donald Trump has maintained that the relationship with North Korea continues to thrive, the two nations have not been able to resolve their respective differences over sanction waivers, leading to the latest breakdown of talks.