North Korea preparing sites for int’l inspections: Seoul
North Korea has been making preparations at several of its weapons sites ahead of visits by international inspectors, South Korea says.
Kim Min-ki, a parliament member from South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party, cited intelligence sources as reporting that preparations were underway in North Korea for possible inspections at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site and the Sohae Satellite launching ground, according to the Yonhap news agency on Wednesday.
The South’s National Intelligence Service observed North Koreans “conducting preparation and intelligence activities that seem to be in preparation for foreign inspectors’ visit,” the lawmaker said, adding, however, that the sources claimed there were no major movements seen at the North’s main nuclear complex, Yongbyon.
North Korea has suspended its nuclear and missile tests amid diplomacy with the South. It also dismantled structures at Punggye-ri in May.
In September, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un pledged at a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to also close Sohae and allow experts to observe other sites.
At the time, Moon said North Korea had agreed to let international inspectors observe a “permanent dismantlement” of key missile facilities, and take further steps such as closing the Yongbyon nuclear facility but only if the United States took “corresponding measures.”
Kim and US President Donald Trump met in a summit in Singapore in June. The two leaders agreed to work toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
While North Korea has taken several steps toward that end, the US has taken none.
Pyongyang has complained that Washington has not reciprocated any of the North Korean measures.