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N Korea ‘begins dismantling’ rocket launch site

N Korea 'begins dismantling' rocket launch site

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption North Korea has used the Sohae station to launch rockets

North Korea appears to have begun dismantling part of a key rocket launch site in the country's north-west.

Satellite images of the Sohae station seen by US-based monitoring group 38 North suggest Pyongyang is complying with a promise made to the US in June.

President Donald Trump said North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un had vowed to destroy an engine test site, but did specify which one.

Pyongyang has maintained that Sohae is a satellite launch site.

But US officials suspect that it has been used to test ballistic missiles.

Image copyright AFP PHOTO/ Pleiades CNES 2018
Image caption The satellite imagery appears to show the dismantling of facilities at North Korea's Sohae site

During a landmark meeting between President and Kim Jong-un in Singapore last month, the two leaders signed a deal to work towards the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula".

But the deal was criticised for a lack of details on when or how Pyongyang would renounce its nuclear weapons.

Earlier on Monday, President Trump said that he was "very happy" with the progress in relations with North Korea, saying that Pyongyang had not launched any missiles or carried out any nuclear tests during the last nine months.

Skip Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump

A Rocket has not been launched by North Korea in 9 months. Likewise, no Nuclear Tests. Japan is happy, all of Asia is happy. 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!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018

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End of Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump

North Korea has carried out a total of six nuclear tests, the most recent of which took place in September last year.

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