Published: Sun, March 10, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Would be disappointed if North Korea resumed testing: Donald Trump

Would be disappointed if North Korea resumed testing: Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump said Friday his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "remains good", despite the collapse of a summit last week without a deal.

The developments come after a high-stakes nuclear summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump broke down.

"The public at home and overseas that had hoped for success and good results from the second DPRK-U.S. summit in Hanoi are feeling regretful, blaming the U.S. for the summit that ended without an agreement", Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the North's ruling Workers' Party, said in a commentary.

USA analysts have said North Korea appears to have restored normal operations at a long-range rocket launch site it had partially dismantled past year as part of disarmament steps.

The official, who requested anonymity, recalled the President's statement that he would be "very, very disappointed" if reports of activity at the site were true.

The failed talks with Trump raised new questions about Kim's strategy for coping with the worldwide sanctions squeezing his country.

But it was still the right decision, and it didn't necessarily mean the engagement is over or that the US and North Korea won't reach an agreement in the future. The South Koreans have proposed semiofficial three-way talks with the United States and North Korea as it works to put nuclear diplomacy back on track.

It called the action "an affront" to Trump's diplomatic strategy that showed North Korean pique at his refusal to lift sanctions.

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"We're seeing a lot of vehicle activity at the Sanumdong facility and also at the rail transfer point where it would be loaded and taken to Sohae", said Lewis, who has studied the images. "In all cases, the expectation is a complete denuclearization of North Korea as a condition for all the other steps being - all the other steps being taken".

Kim Yeonchul, now the head of the state-funded Korea Institute for National Unification, has been an outspoken supporter of inter-Korean rapprochement and frequently expressed skepticism on whether sanctions work with North Korea.

Earlier on Tuesday, two US-based websites specialising in North Korea studies cited commercial satellite imagery as indicating that North Korea is rebuilding some structures at its northwestern rocket launch facility.

The increase in activity is around a site known as Sanumdong, where North Korea assembled most of its ballistic missiles and rockets.

Lewis cautioned that it is impossible to know whether the North Koreans are preparing a military missile or a space rocket. "It's going to be the degree to which we can satisfactorily achieve the steps that we feel are necessary to finally and fully verify the denuclearisation of North Korea".

Palladino would not say if Washington had been in contact with Pyongyang over Sohae, situated on North Korea's northwest coast, or the failed Hanoi talks.

U.S. officials say the main goal for now is to make sure the North Koreans do not resume testing in any way, including of space launch vehicles.

With no deal between the two nations looking likely, the United States delegation left early - later insisting further talks could be thrashed out.

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