New Satellite Imagery Reveals North Korea Dismantling Key Nuclear Facilities

Contrary to MSM reports from three weeks ago citing anonymous US officials, North Korea is actively dismantling key facilities related to their nuclear program, according to satellite imagery analyzed by 38 Northan important first step towards fulfilling commitments made by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a June 12 summit in Singapore with President Trump.  

new commercial satellite imagery of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station (North Korea’s main satellite launch facility since 2012) indicates that the North has begun dismantling key facilities. Most notably, these include the rail-mounted processing building—where space launch vehicles are assembled before moving them to the launch pad—and the nearby rocket engine test stand used to develop liquid-fuel engines for ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles. -38 North

These facilities are believed to have played a substantial role in North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program. Photos taken between July 20 and July 22 reveal the deconstruction, including the facility's rail-mounted transfer structure and other features. 

Commercial satellite imagery of the launch pad from July 20 shows that the rail-mounted processing/transfer structure has been moved to the middle of the pad, exposing the underground rail transfer point—one of the few times it has been seen in this location. The roof and supporting structure have been partially removed and numerous vehicles are present—including a large construction crane. An image from two days later shows the continued presence of the crane and vehicles. Considerable progress has been made in dismantling the rail-mounted processing/transfer structure. One corner has been completely dismantled and the parts can be seen lying on the ground. In both images the two fuel/oxidizer bunkers, main processing building and gantry tower remain untouched. -38 North


By July 22, significant progress had been made in dismantling the rail-mounted transfer structure on the Sohae launch pad. (via 38 North)

Closeup of the partially dismantled structure

Work at the Vertical Engine Test Stand

As 38 North detailed in March, North Korea's vertical test stand looked relatively undisturbed. On July 20, however, satellite imagery revealed the presence of a crane and several vehicles, while a rail-mounted environmental shelter which hadn't moved since December has been razed and removed. Meanwhile, older fuel/oxidizer bunkers look to be getting demolished. That said, two newer fuel/oxidizer bunkers and a vehicle garage remain untouched along with the concreate foundation of the test stand. 

The activity appears to have been conducted sometime over the last two weeks, according to 38 North. 

Environmental shelter removed and other dismantlement activities underway at the engine test stand by July 20

Closeup of the engine test stand activities underway

Test stand superstructure completed dismantled by July 22

Closeup of the engine test stand activities underway

Let's see if NBC / CBS / ABC / WSJ / NYT cover these latest developments as fervently as their reports that North Korea was trying to "deceive" the US.