DPRK Dismantles Part of Rocket Test Site

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On July 23, North Korea analysis website 38 North reported that that the DPRK appears to be dismantling components of one of its rocket test sites. Satellite images indicate that the rail-mounted processing/transfer structure and the rocket engine test stand at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station are being deconstructed. Nam Gwan-pyo, an official in South Korea’s presidential National Security Office, stated, “It is a better sign than nothing, and I believe (the North) is moving step by step toward denuclearization.” The Sohae site reportedly contributed to North Korea’s ICBM development, and Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. of the 38 North report noted that the apparent deconstruction indicates “an important first step towards fulfilling a commitment made by Kim Jong Un at the June 12 Singapore Summit.”