Seoul, North Korea appears to have started

dismantling key facilities at its main satellite launch site in a step

toward fulfilling a commitment made by leader Kim Jong Un at his

summit with President Donald Trump in June.

While Pyongyang could be trying to build trust with

Washington as they engage in talks to resolve the nuclear standoff,

analysts say dismantling a few facilities at the site alone wouldn’t

realistically reduce North Korea’s military capability or represent a

material step toward denuclearization. And they expressed concern

that the work is being done without verification.

The North Korea-focused 38 North website said commercial

satellite images from July 20 to 22 indicate the North began

dismantling key facilities at the Sohae launch site. The facilities being

razed or disassembled include a rocket engine test stand used to

develop liquid-fuel engines for ballistic missiles and space-launch

vehicles and a rail-mounted processing building where space launch

vehicles were assembled before being moved to the launch pad,

according to the report.

An official from South Korea’s presidential office said that Seoul

has also been detecting dismantlement activities at the Sohae launch

site, but did not specify what the North was supposedly taking apart.

After his summit with Kim in Singapore on June 12, Trump said

he was told by Kim that the North was already destroying a major

missile engine testing site without identifying which site. The leaders

concluded their summit by declaring their vague aspirational goal of

moving toward a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, the Associated Press

(AP) news reported.

Source: Oman News Agency