North Korea has made ‘rapid’ improvements to a major nuclear site despite Kim Jong-un vowing to dismantle his regime’s arsenal when he met Donald Trump at the landmark Singapore summit.
“Satellite images from last week show that North Korea is making numerous improvements to the infrastructure at a nuclear research facility,” The Hill reports.
“The images, obtained by North Korea analysis outlet 38 North, come just weeks after President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed an agreement that called for a denuclearized Korean peninsula.
The images from 21 June showed several new buildings, including an engineering office and a driveway to a building which houses a nuclear reactor.
But they added: “Continued work at the Yongbyon facility should not be seen as having any relationship to North Korea’s pledge to denuclearise.
“The North’s nuclear cadre can be expected to proceed with business as usual until specific orders are issued from Pyongyang.”
Captions for the satellite images noted that there was no vapour seen from the cooling tower and no visible steam plumes.
Earlier in June, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met Donald Trump in Singapore and promised to “work toward” the goal of denuclearisation
The president hailed the agreement as “total denuclearisation, which is already taking place” but a timeline for the process had not been clearly defined.
In May, North Korea blew up its only nuclear test site at Punggye-ri, where it had staged six atomic tests.
Critics, however, said the site had been mostly unusable anyway.
The satellite images were published as US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe met to discuss how to get North Korea to fulfil the promise it made in Singapore.
While neither mentioned specific issues, it is expected North Korea is top of their agenda.