North Korea

North Korea May Be Restoring a Missile Test Site

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

You may recall that North Korea dismantled a missile test site last year as a show of supposedly-good faith following Trump's first meeting with Kim Jong-un, but the site is now being restored according to South Korean intelligence.

Now, I wouldn't call that a big surprise, but I do find this to be very interesting:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - South Korean intelligence agencies have detected signs that North Korea is restoring part of the Dongchang-ri missile launch site it tore down, Yonhap News Agency reported on Tuesday.

Specifically, Yonhap said the closed-off country, under pressure for years to discontinue its nuclear program, is putting back a roof and a door on the facility.

South Korea’s National Intelligence Service also said during a briefing for the National Assembly’s intelligence committee that “the U.S. information is the same as ours,” according to Yonhap.

It's not clear if this was discovered before or just after Trump's second meeting with Kim Jong-un, but it does appear at face value that the Trump regime has been holding out on us. This is the very first report I can find that North Korea may be restoring the site they dismantled last year and we're hearing it from South Korean officials.

Trump has repeatedly pointed toward the North's dismantling of the test site as evidence that his approach to negotiations is working so, if South Korean intelligence is correct and if they're rebuilding the site, it could obviously be politically damaging. I suspect that's why we didn't hear about it before Trump's second meeting with Kim Jong-un.

In related news, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he's sending another delegation on a mission to North Korea where they'll undoubtedly spin their wheels.

“I am hopeful, although I have no commitment yet, that we will be back at it, that I’ll have a team in Pyongyang in the next couple weeks,” Pompeo told the Iowa Farm Bureau.

“I’m continuing to work to find those places where there’s a shared interest,” he said.

I think this is what the next two years are going to look like.

  • muselet

    South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency and two U.S. think tanks reported on Tuesday that work was underway at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station at Tongchang-ri, even as Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a second summit in Hanoi last week.

    US intelligence knew about this before now, unless its capabilities have been severely degraded in the past two years. That means the latest joint photo-op between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un happened under false pretenses: the US government knew full well Kim wasn’t going to agree to scupper his nuclear weapons program.

    If Kim hadn’t slightly overplayed his hand in Hanoi, who knows what Trump would have given him.

    That’s not to say there’s no comedy value to the story:

    Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, told Fox Business Network on Tuesday that following the Hanoi summit, Washington would see whether Pyongyang was committed to giving up its “nuclear weapons program and everything associated with it.”

    “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,” said Bolton, a hardliner who has advocated a tough approach to North Korea in the past.

    Separately, two U.S. senators sought to dial up pressure on North Korea by reintroducing a bill on Tuesday to impose sanctions on any bank that does business with its government.

    Because sixty years of sanctions have been so effective. *eyeroll*

    –alopecia

  • Badgerite

    We have agencies like the State Department and officials there with a lifetime of experience in their field for a reason.
    It is to keep the ship of state on an even and somewhat predictable path tethered to real world conditions even though we periodically change political leadership. trump has never understood any of this because the only thing he accomplished was to bankrupt his own company several times and shit the losses to banks, investors who lent him the money and contractors who worked for him. And later in life, in between ripping off people with scams and TV bullshit, to pursue a lucrative career in money laundering and selling out the country for fun and profit to foreign nations.
    I don’t know, do they give out a Nobel for Achievements in Money Laundering?

    • He would definitely win in the category of “General Assholery”

      • Badgerite

        By unanimous vote, I suspect.

  • Draxiar

    I blame the Cohen testimony for the rebuilding of the miss….oh nevermind…I can’t type the rest without laughing myself silly and feeling like a an ass-kisser of Agent Orange.