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North Korea's provocation level has dimmed, US Commander says

24 July 2018

The photos, which were captured by commercial satellites between July 20 and July 22, show that dismantlement has begun of the rail-mounted transfer structure on the Sohae launch pad, according to 38 North analyses.

Analysts in the United States said the photographs showed the removal of a test stand used to trial liquid fuel engines at the Sohae satellite launching station.

But rocket engines are easily repurposed for use in missiles and outside observers say nuclear-armed Pyongyang's space program is a fig leaf for weapons tests.

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

"The actions at Sohae are a helpful signal that Pyongyang wants to continue negotiations, but do not in themselves advance nuclear disarmament", Mount said in an email. "Likewise, no Nuclear Tests".

Officials estimate the work started in the last two weeks.

The conflict, in which the USA fought alongside South Korea, ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the two sides technically at war.

38 North's Town said movement toward a peace regime, including an announcement declaring an end to the Korean War, remained high on the North's agenda for its talks with the U.S.

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He added that the "regime in Iran has been a nightmare for the Iranian people". It was not immediately clear what the nature of her protest was.

CNN reported on Monday that continued negotiations between the two sides hinge on Washington's willingness to make a "bold move" and agree to a peace treaty with Pyongyang, according to an official with close knowledge of North Korea's position on the matter. "Japan is happy, all of Asia is happy", Trump wrote earlier Monday. But the Fake News is saying, without ever asking me (always anonymous sources), that I am angry because it is not going fast enough.

China and Russian Federation have argued that North Korea should be rewarded with the prospect of eased sanctions for opening up dialogue with the United States and halting missile tests.

This comes after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump met in Singapore for a historic summit on Jun 12.

"Dismantling test infrastructure, especially for space launch vehicles, does not change this calculation".

"They can blow the engine test site that they don't need anymore, while at the same time mass producing the missiles that they once tested there, and enriching the uranium at Yongbyon, and the covert facility".

Kim in late 2017 declared his nuclear weapons and missile program was complete, following a torrent of nuclear and missile tests that include the detonation of a purported thermonuclear warhead and flight tests of three developmental ICBMs potentially capable of reaching the USA mainland.

Melissa Hanham, senior research associate with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, said that while dismantling the engine test site was a "good move", it amounted to "the bare minimum" that could be done at Sohae.

North Korea's provocation level has dimmed, US Commander says