New activity at Pyongyang's long-range missile plant

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 7, 2019 - Duration: 02:04s

New activity at Pyongyang's long-range missile plant

New activities have been detected at a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missiles plant according to South Korean media, as U.S. President Donald Trump says he would be very disappointed if Pyongyang rebuilt a rocket site.

Grace Lee reports.


New activity at Pyongyang's long-range missile plant

North Korea may not only be rebuilding missile sites - a new report says it might be gearing up to make long-range missiles again.

According to South Korean media, there's been new activity at Sanumdong - the plant that produced the North's first intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Cargo vehicles have been spotted moving around the site and local reports say South Korea's spy chief sees this as missile-related activity.

Reuters' Korea bureau chief Soyoung Kim has been following the story.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS KOREA BUREAU CHIEF SOYOUNG KIM SAYING: "The only promise North Korea made so far is that there won't be any more tests of weapons.

Currently there's no deal about NK stopping nuclear development and now that they've failed to reach a deal in Hanoi, there may be few incentives for NK to voluntarily discontinue its weapons program and we might see more reports of continuing activity." Just last week, the second big summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un broke down after the two sides couldn't come to an agreement on denuclearization.

And since then there've been sparks of activity in the North.

On Tuesday (March 5), two U.S. think tanks and the South Korean spy agency released reports saying that the North Korean rocket site, Sohae, was being rebuilt.

It's the very site that Kim promised Trump he'd dismantle during their first summit in Singapore.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: (Responding to a question on whether North Korea was breaking a promise by rebuilding a missile launch site) "I would be very, very disappointed in Chairman Kim, and I don't think I will be, but we'll see what happens." (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS KOREA BUREAU CHIEF SOYOUNG KIM SAYING: "From North Korea's point of view, they already went above and beyond their duty by voluntarily destroying nuclear test site at Punggyeri and starting to dismantle Sohae.

They now feel that the US has not taken reciprocal action and they might be trying to signal to the US that if there is no deal, North Korea will carry on with the weapons program and therefore time is running for the U.S. to reach a deal." On Monday (March 4), U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he's looking to send a delegation to the North in the coming weeks, but that he had 'no commitment yet'.

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