Disarming North Korea - Status Update 🚀

Kevin Lim/The Strait Times/Handout/Getty Images

Kevin Lim/The Strait Times/Handout/Getty Images

NK is dismantling a missile test site

Analysis of open source satellite imagery shows that North Korea has begun dismantling a key missile engine test site. The Sohae Satellite Launching Station had been used to launch North Korean satellites - and is believed to have been used to test and develop the regime’s long-range missile engines.

Fulfilling a promise to President Trump

The Trump administration reports that Kim Jong Un explicitly agreed to dismantle the Sohae Station in talks at their June summit in Singapore. Just a few days ago, press reports suggested Trump was growing frustrated with the lack of progress in North Korea denuclearization talks; it now seems North Korea may actually be following through with its promises to Trump.

The right sees the dismantling of the facility as a vindication for Trump’s diplomatic approach to North Korea. Articles from the right connect the dismantling to the press reports of Trump’s growing frustration with North Korea. Kim Jong Un may have started dismantling the facility to preserve his relationship with Trump, they argue. The right also points out that South Korea - a key ally of the U.S. - is pleased with the progress the dismantling of this site represents.

The left does not see the dismantling of this facility as particularly meaningful. Articles stress that this is only a missile-test site. Since North Korea already has functioning missiles, this test facility is not necessary. Dismantling the test site, the left argues, is not a meaningful move toward denuclearization. North Korea has not dismantled any nuclear warheads or disposed of nuclear material. In fact, they’re still producing nuclear material.

So is North Korea de-nuking??

It’s too soon to tell - but the dismantling of this site should certainly be seen as promising. Sure, it’s just a test site and we don’t know if North Korea decommissioned it because the U.S. wanted it to - or because they no longer needed it. Either way, Trump and Kim specifically discussed dismantling this site and it is happening. Maybe they’ll continue to cooperate....or maybe they’ll keep slow-pedaling denuclearization and continue calling us names. Time will tell.

Nukes: handle with care



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