North Korea Upgrading Nuclear Research Facility

Global Politics, International Relations, Military Affairs, North Korea, Rundown

Contrary to the assurances given by United States President Donald Trump to reporters after his June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore, Pyongyang does not appear to be interested in pursuing the path to denuclearization. In fact, the nuclear testing facility Trump claimed would be dismantled instead appears to be getting an upgrade.

The disturbing revelations were revealed from satellite photos taken recently which showed North Korea apparently moving toward implementing improvements to the infrastructure of the nuclear facility in question.

North Korea research and analysis organization, 38 North, were able to secure the satellite images which came weeks after the June 12 summit. Trump and Kim ended the summit by signing an agreement which stated the North Korea would pursue the denuclearization process.

Critics of the summit pointed out that the language of the agreement did not provide clear guidelines or strict conditions on the denuclearization process. Trump himself acknowledged that the wording on the agreement may not have been sufficient because there was “no time”.

The satellite images showed that North Korea appears to be fast- tracking upgrades on the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center. Some of the upgrades noted were a new cooling water pump house, a cooling water reservoir, a number of new buildings, and a suspected radiochemical laboratory,

There are reports that until such time that North Korea’s nuclear development team receives official word from Kim, the upgrades will continue. Prior to the June 12 meeting between Trump and Kim, North Korea gave assurances it would destroy the Punggye-ri nuclear testing facility.