North Korea Appears to Take Apart Missile Launch Area
North Korea appears to have started dismantling important parts of its main satellite launch center.
The activity appears to fulfill a promise to United States officials by North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un.
Some experts believe North Korea is trying to build trust with the U.S. The two sides continue diplomatic talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
Other experts say dismantling some parts of the launch area will not reduce North Korea's military ability. They also worry that the work is being done without verification.
Satellite pictures show activity
The website 38 North said satellite pictures from July 20 to 22 show efforts to dismantle parts of the Sohae launch area. The parts include a rocket engine test stand used to develop liquid-fuel engines. Such engines are used for long-distance missiles and space vehicles. A building where space launch vehicles were built before being prepared for launch also was taken apart, said 38 North.
"These facilities are believed to have played an important role in the development of technologies for the North's intercontinental ballistic missile program," Joseph Bermudez wrote. He reported the findings saying that the North Korean efforts were an important confidence building act.
An official from South Korea's presidential office said Tuesday that Seoul has also seen the activities at the Sohae launch site.
Other experts said North Korea is giving up little in dismantling the rocket engine test center.
Adam Mount is an expert at the Federation of American Scientists. He said he is worried about North Korea's decision to dismantle its facilities without verification. Such a step would require international inspectors.
In May, North Korean officials invited international reporters to watch the destruction of tunnels at its nuclear testing area. But, they did not invite international experts.
Mount said in an email that North Korea still has not dismantled centers that produce or store nuclear or missile systems or transportation for the missiles.
Lee Choon Geun is a missile expert at South Korea's Science and Technology Policy Institute. He said the North's action was an important development and may lead to more activities at the area.
Lee said, if North Korea dismantles the entire Sohae launch area, it would reduce greatly the country's missile threat. He said other centers in North Korea are not as well built.
But Mount disagrees. He said the threat reduction would be small. He added that North Korea has missiles that do not require a special launch center.
After his meeting with Kim in Singapore on June 12, Trump said he was told by Kim that the North was "already destroying a major missile engine testing" area.
The two men ended the meeting by saying they both wanted a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons. But, some experts do not believe Kim will ever give up his nuclear weapons because he may see them as the best guarantee of his survival as leader.
I'm Susan Shand.
1.aimed at 旨在；致力于
The government rushed through legislation aimed at Mafia leaders.
2.nuclear weapons 核武器
He campaigned for peace and against the spread of nuclear weapons.
3.give up 放弃
He is thinking of giving up teaching.
4.lead to 导致
A lack of prudence may lead to financial problems.
5.A building where space launch vehicles were built before being prepared for launch also was taken apart, said 38 North.
take apart 拆开；剖析
They will take that problem apart and analyze it in great detail.
If my computer stops working again, I will take apart it myself.
6."These facilities are believed to have played an important role in the development of technologies for the North's intercontinental ballistic missile program
played an important role 扮演...重要角色
Literature websites have played an important role in this trend.
They played an important role in the Revolutionary War period and years leading up to it.
“北纬38度”（38 North）网站表示，7月20日到22日的卫星图像显示了拆除西海卫星发射场部分设施所取得的努力。这些设施包括用于开发液体燃料发动机的火箭发动机试验台 。这种发动机用于远程导弹和太空飞行器 。“北纬38度”网站表示，空间运载火箭发射前的组装平台也被拆除了 。
约瑟夫·贝穆德斯（Joseph Bermudez）写道：“据信，这些设施在朝鲜洲际弹道导弹计划的技术开发中发挥了重要作用。”他报道了这一调查结果并表示，朝鲜（拆除设施）的努力是建立互信的一个重要举措 。”
亚当·芒特（Adam Mount）是美国科学家联合会的专家。他说，他担心朝鲜拆除其设施的决定并未经过核实 。这一过程需要国际核查人员参与 。
李椿根（Lee Choon Geun）是韩国科学技术政策研究所的导弹问题专家。他说，朝鲜的举动是一项重要进展，并且还可能会引发该地区更多的活动 。
但是，芒特不赞同这一观点。他称，威胁降低的幅度非常小 。他补充说，朝鲜拥有的导弹不需要特定的发射中心 。