North Korea may be preparing to resume testing engines used to power satellite launchers and intercontinental ballistic missiles
A new satellite image obtained by CNN indicates North Korea may be preparing to resume testing engines used to power satellite launchers and intercontinental ballistic missiles at a site US President Donald Trump previously claimed was dismantled after his Singapore summit with dictator Kim Jong Un this summer.
The commercial satellite imagery, which was captured on Thursday by Planet Labs, shows new activity at Sohae Satellite Launching Station and the presence of a large shipping container at the facility's engine test stand, according Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute, which works in partnership with the imaging company.
While engine tests are considered to be less provocative than those involving missiles or satellites, Lewis said that the activity at Sohae is a significant development and a step toward weapons launches of a more threatening nature.
Choe Son Hui, North Korea's First Vice-Foreign Minister, was quoted by North Korea's state news agency as saying the foreign ministry"can not repress displeasure over the utterances made by President Trump inappropriately at the most sensitive time."
"That was not in your agreement," Trump told reporters at the time."I got that after we signed the agreement. I said, 'Do me a favor. You've got this missile engine testing site. We know where it is because of the heat.' It's incredible the equipment we have, to be honest with you. I said, can you close it up?' He's going to close it up."
Diplomats from Pyongyang and Washington have been attempting to negotiate a trade that would see Kim give up the country's nuclear weapons and the ballistic missiles used to deliver them in exchange for relief from punishing US and United Nations sanctions that have crippled the North Korean economy.Read more: CNN Philippines
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