North Korea restoring missile site, threats of further sanctions from US

The meeting in Vietnam last wee between Donald Trump and Kim Yong Un ended abruptly last week, with a luncheon and signing ceremony cancelled.

Now relations between North Korea and US seem to be deteriorating.

Wall Street Journal –  North Korean Launch Site Is Being Built Back Up Again

Disclosure comes in the wake of failed U.S.-North Korean summit in Hanoi last week

North Korea is restoring a missile launch site it previously claimed to be dismantling as an overture to the U.S., according to newly released commercial satellite photos and people briefed on South Korean intelligence.

The move has sparked concerns that North Korea may be wavering on some of the gestures it made to demonstrate its willingness to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

Reuters – U.S. will look at ramping up sanctions if North Korea does not denuclearize: Bolton

President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, said on Tuesday that the United States would look at ramping up sanctions on North Korea if Pyongyang did not scrap its nuclear weapons program.

Bolton told Fox Business Network that following the Hanoi summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, 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.

His comments came days after the Feb. 27-28 denuclearization summit between Trump and Kim broke down over differences on how far North Korea was willing to limit its nuclear program and the degree of U.S. willingness to ease sanctions.

Earlier on Tuesday, two U.S. think tanks and South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported that North Korea had restored part of a missile launch site it began to dismantle after pledging to do so in the first summit with Trump last year.

Yonhap quoted lawmakers briefed by South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) as saying that the work was taking place at the Tongchang-ri launch site and involved replacing a roof and a door at the facility.

Satellite images seen by 38 North, a Washington-based North Korea project, showed that structures on the launch pad had been rebuilt sometime between Feb. 16 and March 2, Jenny Town, managing editor at the project and an analyst at the Stimson Center think tank, told Reuters.

That alleged rebuilding was taking place in the lead up to the meeting between Trump and Kim in Hanoi.

It looks like peace in Korea may be more difficult to achieve that Trump anticipated, but North Korea’s history suggests it was always going to be difficult.

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19 Comments

  1. NOEL

     /  7th March 2019

    Should we be surprised? No.
    Trump signalled middle development was his focus.
    Kim offered demolition of nuclear fuel facility and removal of non military sanctions.
    https://www.38north.org/2019/03/sohae030519/

    Reply
  2. Noel

     /  7th March 2019

    Oops “and” should be “for”

    Reply
  3. lurcher1948

     /  7th March 2019

    It’s their country,they can do what they want.they played tRump like a old soccer…ball

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  7th March 2019

      Maybe. KJU wanted some quid pro quo with sanctions relief. Normal sort of situation in diplomatic negotiations. South Korea is hoping to keep the negotiations going; there is strong support for rapproachment there; I don’t think they are happy with the US’s & Trump’s intransigence. Meantime the UN has reported that natural disasters including a drought and typhoon over the past year, and the US-driven sanctions are creating severe food shortages again.

      Aljaz tv reported the other day the US has agreed it will no longer take part in the annual massive military exercises in South Korea, although commentary suggested this could be driven by Trump’s insistence that South Korea should be paying for them.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  7th March 2019

        On the plus side for KIm, from AJ tv reports, it appears the rest of his state visit to Vietnam went off extremely well. It was something of a triumph for him being feted & given the full state visit treatment by his hosts after Trump buggared off. North Korea has had reclusive home-bound leaders for decades & so his travelling to other countries is seen as a positive thing back home and in some other countries in the region.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  7th March 2019

          If I was a leader who was told by a country bristling with nuclear arms that I must get rid of mine, thus leaving myself totally vulnerable, my response would be to tell then to get stuffed unless they were prepared to do the same..

          Reply
  4. Corky

     /  7th March 2019

    Invade North Korea. Unify Korea. Have a Western outpost next to the worlds biggest potential enemy. Similar to Israel in the Middle East. Either that or have China move into North Korea, either by force or invitation, should war with the West be threatened.

    China’s hand would then be forced. They would probably start by invading Taiwan.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  7th March 2019

      Invading Iraq and Afghanistan to bring them democracy hasn’t worked out at all well and the blowback from unintended consequences has been disastrous. Probably not a wise option and one that will not be supported by South Koreans.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  7th March 2019

        Of course at the present time my suggestion is ridiculous. But given China has made it quite clear unification with Taiwan will take place, its only a matter of time before the West will need to make hard decisions.

        Should international relations go onto a war footing, China will not allow NK to be a strategically weak backdoor into their country. They will invade one way or another.

        Best we do this first, under a pretext, with Trumpy, because I doubt any other president will.

        That of course creates other problems.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  7th March 2019

          Damn. Hit by the RWW Effect again. See response below.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  7th March 2019

            Who are the ‘we’ who should do this under a pretext ? Corky seems to think that NZ is part of the US.

            Reply
        • Patzcuaro

           /  7th March 2019

          You live in lulu land.

          Reply
    • lurcher1948

       /  7th March 2019

      Did you get this idea from”mikey”?? asking for a friend

      Reply
  5. Gezza

     /  7th March 2019

    Dunno with Trump. Is Taiwan paying for the US to protect them yet? Those supercarrier task forces are damn expensive.

    Reply
  6. Zedd

     /  7th March 2019

    What happened to MrTs NOISE that MrK & ‘he’ are great mates ?
    methinks.. its just plain B-S for his mates on Fox news etc. NO basis in Reality ! :/

    Reply
  7. David

     /  7th March 2019

    Kim probably has a wary eye on the duplicitous behavior of Clinton and Libya and the pretty hideous way Qaddafi was ended after he cooperated.
    I think there should be some sanctions relief given Kim,s refreshing approach but they should be very limited relief. Trump and Dennis Rodman have achieved quite a lot given the rhetoric 12 months ago and the missile testing, I remain ever optimistic.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  7th March 2019

      He’d certainly have spotted that to be a “good friend” of Trump is as worthless a thing as there is. Many good friends of Trump are his worst enemy next year.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  7th March 2019

        And he doesn’t even know who they are & he’s never even met them – even if it’s all on video & everyone else knows he has. 😀

        Reply
      • Patzcuaro

         /  7th March 2019

        Trumps good friends are lining up to go to jail, instead of Trump.

        Reply

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