North Korea Has Started Rebuilding Key Missile-Test Facilities, Analysts Say
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea has started rebuilding the facilities it uses to launch satellites into orbit and test engines and other technologies for its intercontinental ballistic missile program, according to American military analysts and South Korean intelligence officials.
The revelation comes days after the breakdown of the second summit meeting between the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and President Trump last week in Hanoi, Vietnam.
North Korea began dismantling the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in Tongchang-ri near its northwestern border with China last summer, after Mr. Kim held his first meeting with Mr. Trump in June in Singapore. It partially took down an engine test site, a rocket launchpad and a rail-mounted building used by engineers to assemble launch vehicles and move them to the launchpad.
The North did not completely dismantle the facilities, and when Mr. Kim met with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea last September, he offered to destroy them in the presence of American experts.
But that offer is now in doubt, after Mr. Kim’s meeting with Mr. Trump in Hanoi ended without an agreement on how to end the North’s nuclear weapons and missile programs.
The rebuilding of the Tongchang-ri facilities could be a first sign that North Korea might be preparing to end its moratorium on missile tests.
The news of rebuilding at Tongchang-ri first emerged hours after Mr. Kim returned home on Tuesday from Hanoi.<-->纽约时报中英文网 http://www.qqenglish.com<-->
Speaking to lawmakers behind closed doors at South Korea’s National Assembly on Tuesday, officials from its National Intelligence Service indicated that North Korea had been rebuilding the Tongchang-ri facilities even before the Hanoi summit, South Korean news media reported on Wednesday.
据韩国新闻媒体周三报道，韩国国家情报院(National Intelligence Service)官员周二在韩国国民议会(South Korean National Assembly)的闭门会议上向议员表示，朝鲜甚至在河内峰会召开之前就一直在重建东仓里的设施。
North Korea has not conducted any nuclear and missile tests since November 2017. Mr. Trump has cited that as a key achievement of his policy of imposing tough sanctions, which he said forced North Korea to return to the negotiating table.
“Based on commercial satellite imagery, efforts to rebuild these structures started sometime between February 16 and March 2, 2019,” 38 North, a website specializing in North Korea analysis, said in a report about the Tongchang-ri facilities on Tuesday.
Beyond Parallel, a website run by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, published a report with similar assessments on Tuesday.