North Korea began the “rapid rebuilding” of the long-range rocket site at Sohae Launch Facility about 48 hours after last week’s Hanoi summit collapsed, according to commercial imagery and analysis from the researchers at Beyond Parallel. They say these launches use technology similar to the kind used for intercontinental ballistic missiles.
“This renewed activity, taken just two days after the inconclusive Hanoi Summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, may indicate North Korean plans to demonstrate resolve in the face of U.S. rejection of North Korea’s demands at the summit to lift five U.N. Security Council sanctions enacted in 2016-2017,” the analysts said.
According to Victor Cha, one of the authors of the report, the activity at the launching station indicates that North Korea will conduct another missile test soon:
“The activity they are undertaking now is consistent with preparations for a test, though the imagery thus far does not show a missile being moved to the launch pad. The activity on the ground shows us that they do have a (nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile) capability that is not just developmental, but in the prototype phase. They’ve already tested a few of these and it looks like they’re preparing the launch pad for another act.”
Commercial satellite imagery shows the progress at the launching facility.
— Emmanuel Torresan (@TorresanEmman) March 6, 2019
— ABC News (@ABC) March 6, 2019
The White House, via Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, declined to comment on the report.
“We don’t comment on intelligence,” Sanders said. “We are continuing to have conversations, as the president has said, we’ll see what happens… Beyond that, I am not going to comment.“
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) March 6, 2019
The latest information about North Korea’s activities opened up the Trump administration to criticism, with many saying that President Donald Trump had been fooled by a dangerous autocrat.
Trump has once again been outsmarted and outmaneuvered by a third rate dictator. https://t.co/mlwzxp86uq
— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) March 6, 2019
North Korea rebuilds rocket launch site, in ominous signal about attitude to talks.
Trumps bromance with Kim will in all probability continue until N. Korea again launches a rocket in the direction of the U.S. or one of our allies. https://t.co/RoGza7Bh6e
— Pat Benzaleski (@PatBenzaleski) March 6, 2019
President Trump has been played for a sucker by many of the world’s most vile autocrats. Give him a glowing orb and he’ll look the other way if you murder and dismember an U.S.-based journalist. https://t.co/2hsArUJFLS
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) March 6, 2019
What a surprise. How much did the Hanoi stunt cost us in both dollars and dignity? https://t.co/TBQX1vk3St
— Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) March 6, 2019