by WorldTribune Staff, March 6, 2019
Satellite imagery acquired on March 2 shows that North Korea is rebuilding the long-range rocket site at Sohae (Tongchang-ri) which in the past was used to launch satellites with ICBM technology that is banned under UN Security Council resolutions.
“Activity is evident at the vertical engine test stand and the launch pad’s rail-mounted rocket transfer structure,” according to the Beyond Parallel website. “This facility had been dormant since August 2018, indicating the current activity is deliberate and purposeful.”
U.S. national security adviser John Bolton has said that the Trump administration may ramp up sanctions against North Korea unless Kim Jong-Un scraps his nuclear program.
“If they’re not willing to do it, then I think President Trump has been very clear. They’re not going to get relief from the crushing economic sanctions that have been imposed on them and we’ll look at ramping those sanctions up in fact,” Bolton said, according to Fox Business Network.
Bolton’s remarks came after President Donald Trump’s summit with Kim Jong-Un in Hanoi, Vietnam. Supporters of South Korea’s leftist President Moon Jae-In have blamed Bolton for the breakdown of the summit.
“I believe the breakdown was intentionally brought about by the U.S. side, and Bolton was the villain in this,” former Unification Minister Jeong Se-Hyun said on March 5, according to The Korea Times.
Thae Yong-Ho, a former North Korean diplomat who defected to the South wrote on his blog on March 3: “The reason behind North Korea not reporting about the participants of a meeting on Feb. 28 shows that Kim is upset about Bolton, who the North believes coaxed Trump to raise the allegation that Pyongyang is hiding nukes and thus broke down the summit.”
Beyond Parallel noted that satellite imagery of the North’s renewed activity at Sohae was “taken just two days after the inconclusive Hanoi summit … and 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 UN Security Council sanctions enacted in 2016-2017.”