Bolton: Trump would be 'disappointed' if North Korea launches missile test

N. Korea ‘missile launch’ plans under scrutiny as concern mounts       	         		Posted

N. Korea ‘missile launch’ plans under scrutiny as concern mounts Posted

The images that were made public on Friday showed vehicles, cranes and rail cars near a facility outside Pyongyang where North Korea has previously assembled some of its intercontinental ballistic missiles, leading some experts to believe North Korea is preparing to launch what would be its first missile or rocket in over a year.

"Based on past practices, these activities could be consistent with preparations for the delivery of a rocket to the launch pad or engine to the test stand; or they could be North Korean coercive bargain tactics", it said. The two leaders did not reach a deal on denuclearization.

But despite the Special Representative's stated interest in pursuing a roadmap-format to negotiations, at a post-Hanoi March 7 background briefing a "Senior State Department Official" - widely understood to be Biegun - said that "nobody in the administration advocates a step-by-step approach".

The speculations about the North's possible preparation to launch a missile or a satellite-carrying rocket have also been reported by the United States media wherein they stated that there has been an increase in the activity at the missile assembly facility in Sanum-dong.

Seoul's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement Thursday said the two sides agreed this is "a very sensitive moment in making progress in the U.S".

At the second Trump-Kim Summit in Hanoi in late February, the two sides failed to reach a deal because the two leaders could not agree on an arrangement that would permit the complete lifting of USA sanctions on North Korea.

Pyongyang has used Sohae to launch satellites into space since 2011, and Washington says its work there has helped develop missile technology.

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It remains unclear at this point, if the possible launch would be for a missile or a satellite rocket. We'll take a look. So that's one reason why we pay particular attention to what North Korea is doing all the time.

"This is North Korea's classic brinkmanship on display again", said Lim Eul-chul, professor of North Korean studies at Kyungnam University. "It wants early resumption of talks with the United States, but on better terms".

Biegun said Washington did not know what the activity spotted in North Korea meant. "The president has been clear on that", Stephen Biegun, the special USA envoy for North Korea, said at a forum hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.

Images of the renewed activity follow their second summit in Hanoi at the end of last month.

Leader Kim Jong Un's ruling Workers' Party has an iron grip on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), as the isolated, nuclear-armed country is officially known.

"The president said repeatedly that he feels the absence of nuclear tests, the absence of ballistic missile launches is a positive sign". "And I don't think I will be, but we'll see what happens".

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