After satellite images, what's next for North Korea policy?

Minnie Murray
March 10, 2019

The reports came after the leaders' second summit in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi broke down last week over differences on the limits North Korea was ready to put on its nuclear program and how willing the USA was to ease sanctions.

The developments come after a high-stakes nuclear summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump broke down.

However, echoing a senior U.S. Department of State (DOS) official who spoke to reporters about North Korea on condition of anonymity on Thursday, President Trump indicated that despite the new nuclear and missile activity, he is still hoping for a denuclearization agreement that eluded him and Kim at last week's summit in Vietnam.

North Korea is restoring facilities at the long-range rocket launch, which it dismantled a year ago as part of disarmament steps, according to foreign experts and a South Korean lawmaker who was briefed by Seoul's spy service.

Following the first reports about the alleged renewed activities at the Sohae facility, the US State Department said that it viewed any launch of a space vehicle by North Korea as inconsistent with the country's commitments. But the documentary didn't mention about the lack of an agreement following the Kim-Trump summit.

It was Kim's first message that was unveiled in public after he returned home from Hanoi where the second summit with Trump was held. Responding to a question on the collapse of the talks in Hanoi, the official said the negotiations with the North Koreans in the run-up to the summit were very productive. "Some of the ideas are still ours and remain to be accepted by the North Koreans". "We need the North Korean negotiators to have much more latitude than they did in the run-up to the summit on denuclearisation, but I am confident that if they get that direction from the top of the North Korean government, we can make quick progress with them", he said.

Speaking on Tuesday, Mr Bolton on Tuesday warned North Korea could be subjected to even tougher sanctions if the country failed to give up its nuclear weapons program.

Trump described how he would be "very disappointed" if North Korea were planning to resume weapons testing.

A private panel appointed by the unification ministry under Moon said there was no evidence to back up that accusation, and Kim had since called for the factory complex to reopen.

Satellite images of a North Korean rocket assembly facility suggest possible launch preparations, an expert told CNN.

The comments, made during a briefing at a parliamentary session, also noted that North Korea stopped the operations of a five-megawatt reactor at the Yongbyon nuclear complex late a year ago with no signs of reprocessing activities there. It also became clear that Kim's hopes of faking denuclearization to get the worldwide community to ease sanctions have failed.

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