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  • Report says images indicate North Korea is dismantling test site facilities.

    Report says images indicate North Korea is dismantling test site facilities. | Photo: Reuters

Published 24 July 2018
Opinion

This is the first step by Pyongyang towards denuclearization, after two historic summits: the first between the two Koreas and the second between North Korea and the U.S.

A North Korean site used for the development of ballistic missile engines started the process of dismantling. Satellite images showed activity at key facility Sohae Satellite Launching Station, a building used to assemble space-launch vehicles.

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This is a first step by the government of North Korea towards denuclearization, after two historic and unprecedented summits: the first one between the two Koreas and the second one between North Korea and the U.S. In the latter, North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong-un committed to working towards peace in the region.

"In an important first step towards fulfilling a commitment made by Kim Jong-un at the June 12 Singapore Summit, new commercial satellite imagery of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station (North Korea’s main satellite launch facility since 2012) indicates that the North has begun dismantling key facilities," said the report by 38 North, a Washington-based think tank which specializes on North Korean subjects.

"Since these facilities are believed to have played an important role in the development of technologies for the North's intercontinental ballistic missile program, these efforts represent a significant confidence-building measure on the part of North Korea," according to the report.

In a separate statement, the Defence Ministry of South Korea said that it has been planned "a test reduction of some guard post troops and equipment" along the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that divides north and south Korea."

Both Korean leaders, Kim and Moon Jae-in, during the April summit, agreed to reduce the tensions at the border and turn the DMZ into a 'peace zone.'

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