Was Kim Jong Un’s promise to Donald Trump a lie?
North Korea is continuing to carry out improvements on its main nuclear research facility, despite Kim Jong Un’s promise to Donald Trump to commit to ‘denuclearisation’ of the peninsula during this historic summit earlier this month.
The leaked satellite images revealed operations continuing at the Yongbyon nuclear site, with even several new buildings erected according to monitoring website 38 North.
Towards the end of the recent Singapore talks, Kim insisted he would ‘work toward’ the goal, but there are fears that there is still an undefined denuclearisation or set a deadline.
The DailyMail reports: Trump claimed the process would start quickly, saying last week that ‘It will be a total denuclearisation, which is already taking place.’
But the new satellite images does not show any slowing down of the continued development of Kim’s main nuclear site, according to 38 North.
‘Commercial satellite imagery from June 21 indicates that improvements to the infrastructure at… Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center are continuing at a rapid pace,’ it said.
It noted ‘continued operations’ at the North’s uranium enrichment plant and several new installations at the site – including an engineering office and a driveway to a building housing a nuclear reactor.
But continued operations at the site ‘should not be seen as having any relationship with North Korea’s pledge to denuclearise’, it added.
Nuclear officials could be ‘expected to proceed with business as usual until specific orders are issued from Pyongyang’, it said.
The North last month blew up its aged but only nuclear test site at Punggye-ri – where it had staged six atomic tests – in a show of goodwill before the summit.
But Pyongyang has kept its counsel on the denuclearization issue since the meeting, although state media have dialled down propaganda against the US, long dubbed the ‘imperialist enemy.’
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been pushing for more follow-up talks to flesh out details over denuclearisation but no date has been set for when they would take place.