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Images Show North Korea Dismantling Key Facilities at Satellite Launching Station

07-23-2018
Photo: Airbus Defense Space 38 North

While several members of the media have decided President Donald Trump's negotiations with North Korea have mostly failed, new commercial satellite imagery of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station may soon have some reporters eating crow.

Images sent to CBN News by 38 North show North Korea's main satellite launch facility is starting to be dismantled.

"Commercial satellite imagery of the launch pad from July 20 shows that the rail-mounted processing/transfer structure has been moved to the middle of the pad, exposing the underground rail transfer point — one of the few times it has been seen in this location," 38 North's Joseph Bermudez Jr. stated.

Bermudez said both the roof and supporting structure have been partially removed and numerous vehicles are present—including a large construction crane.

Then images from two days later show the continued presence of the crane and vehicles.

"Considerable progress has been made in dismantling the rail-mounted processing/transfer structure. One corner has been completely dismantled and the structural members can be seen lying on the ground. In both images the two fuel/oxidizer bunkers, main processing building and gantry tower remain untouched," said Bermudez.

Just last week, President Trump said he was "very happy" with how talks were progressing with North Korea.

"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!"

Mr. Trump was likely referring to an article in The Washington Post on Sunday that claimed the president was frustrated with the lack of immediate progress.

Since the June 12 summit, the president said the North Korea nuclear threat is over and that North Korea would destroy another missile site after his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that he and President Trump remain "upbeat about the prospects of denuclearization of North Korea" and that "progress is happening."

Regarding what the US needs to see happen going forward, Pompeo said, laughing, "It is really pretty straightforward."

Kim told both Mr. Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in that "he was prepared to denuclearize," Pompeo said. 

"The scope and scale of that is agreed to," Pompeo said, adding, "The North Koreans understand what that means." 

Pompeo made the remarks after he and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley met with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, as well as with leaders from Japan, South Korea and the entire UN Security Council on Friday.

The meetings focused on what the summit means for North Korea and its nuclear weapons. 

Speaking on Friday alongside Pompeo, Haley called the passing of three massive sanctions resolutions against North Korea last year a "Herculean task" that brought North Korea to the table.

"Now North Korea and the US have started to have talks," she said. "We and the Security Council and the international community have to support those talks, and the best way to support those talks is to not loosen the sanctions."

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