North Korea completes restoration of nuclear launch site : South Korea’s NIS claims

This May 23, 2018 satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows the nuclear test site in Punggye-ri, North Korea. A group of foreign journalists departed by train Wednesday to watch the dismantling of North Korea???s nuclear test site after eight reporters from South Korea received last-minute permission to join them. (DigitalGlobe via AP)

South Korean spy agency National Intelligence Service (NIS) has on Saturday informed that North Korea has almost finished its operation of the restoration of its nuclear missile launch site in Tongchang-ri.

The NIS was quoted by Yonhap news agency as saying, “The North started the reassembly work before the Hanoi summit. We cannot verify what that means.”

The NIS has on March 6 said that North Korea has been trying to restore parts of the Tongchang-ri nuclear missile launch site situated in Yongbyon in the north of Pyongyang, which it had begun to dismantle during the first summit between the two powerful nations, United Staes and North Korea.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency and two US think tanks reported: “(The North) appears to be putting back a roof and a door (to a Tongchang-ri facility).”

US national security advisor John Bolton said, “If they’re not willing to do it, then I think President Trump has been very clear … they’re not going to get relief from the crushing economic sanctions that have been imposed on them and we’ll look at ramping those sanctions up in fact.”

Bolton has on Tuesday said Washington would look at imposing some fresh sanctions over North Korea if Pyongyang didn’t cease its nuclear weapon and missile program.

Trump has said he would be “very disappointed” if reports alleging that North Korea has started its reconstruction of parts of its nuclear missile launch site is confirmed to be true.

This development has come amid a nuclear deal impasse during the second summit between United States President Donald Trump and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un last month in Vietnam, aimed at complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

But however, the Hanoi summit failed abruptly due to differences between both country’s powerful leaders, as Trump insisted on Kim’s commitment of full denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, where Kim stressed for US sanctions relief which Trump has imposed on Pyongyang.

The NIS has added that Pyongyang was keeping up its uranium enrichment facility in Yongbyon in “normal operation”.

This nuclear facility is the same abut what Kim had offered to fully dismantle in exchange for the sanctions waivers during Kim-Trump second summit in Hanoi last month.

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