North Korea has started rebuilding a key missile test facility, satellite images show launch site and launch tower.
American analysts and South Korean intelligence analysts say the facility could be used to launch satellites into orbit and test engines or other technologies for its intercontinental ballistic missile program.
The revelation comes days after the second summit meeting between the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and President Trump last week in Hanoi, Vietnam.
President Trump claimed a major diplomatic achievement after North Korea assured U.S of ending it’s missile tests programs.
North Korea dismantled the Sohae Satellite Launching Station bordering China, after Kim held first meeting with Trump in June last year. They 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.
North Korea has not destroyed the facility completely, Kim told President Moon Jae-in of South Korea in September that North Korea will destroy the facility in the presence of American experts.
The Hanoi summit last month ended without an agreement, Mr. Kim pushed the United States to lift sanctions to moves toward denuclearization.
North Korea is believed to have many secret facilities to produce nuclear fuel. Analysts wonder how Kim would react after the talks broke in Vietnam. The news of rebuilding at Tongchang-ri first emerged hours after Mr. Kim returned home on Tuesday from Hanoi.
Experts believe that North Korea wanted the dismantle to be more dramatic and visual by building up the Tongchang-ri site if they struck a deal. Now since no deal was struck North Korea may very well resume rocket tests.
North Korea have not conducted any nuclear tests after November 2017. Last week, South Korea and U.S decided to call of their biggest military drill to speed up diplomatic pressure on North Korea.
The Tongchang-ri facilities have been vital to North Korea’s space and missile programs. The country has used the facilities there to launch satellite-carrying rockets. The United States has called the satellite program a front for developing intercontinental ballistic missiles. Kim visited the rocket engine test site in 2017.