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North Korea begins to dismantle missile test site

Seoul, July 24: North Korea has begun to dismantle a missile engine testing site in line with a promise made by its leader Kim Jong-un at his historic summit with US President Donald Trump, according to a US-based monitoring group. According to 38 North, the images taken from July 20-22 and published by the North Korea-focused website, showed key facilities being dismantled at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, located in the north Pyongan province, near the country’s northwestern border with China.

The facilities included a rail-mounted processing building, used to assemble space launch vehicles before they are moved to the launch pad. Completed around 2011, Sohae is considered the main base for North Korea’s space programme and has been used for three important launches. Also being dismantled was a rocket engine test stand that had been used to build liquid-fuel engines for ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles, Yonhap news agency reported. The dismantling of Sohae could help in expediting US-North Korea dialogue after the two sides agreed to improve ties and work for the denuclearization of the peninsula in exchange for Washington guaranteeing the North Korean regime’s survival during the June 12 summit in Singapore between the leaders of the two countries. (IANS)