Within 48 hours after the end of the failed U.S.-North Korea summit in Vietnam, U.S. satellites picked up activity at Kim Jong-un's nuclear test sites, which MSNBC Korea analyst Victor Cha said were timed specifically to "embarrass" President Donald Trump after he promised for months that North Korea would pursue denuclearization as a result of the tight relationship between the two countries' leaders.
Explaining the significance of the satellite imagery of the site, Cha pointed out the rocket test stand, the launch pad, cranes, and railway structures.
"Why this is significant is that we did a report on January 20th that showed there was no activity at the site since August, right after the Singapore summit," he said. "So the fact that there's been this activity 48 hours after the Hanoi summit, it shows it's very deliberate, very purposeful activity. It's really saying to the president, they were not happy with what happened in Hanoi."
"We have to see if it's just a message or if they're going to move forward with trying to bring a payload vehicle to the launch platform," Cha went on. "It's really difficult to say at this point what their intentions are. But we do know that this is about as embarrassing a thing that the North Koreans could do to the president after the summit in Hanoi." He added that the White House needed to revisit sanctions and that Trump needed to re-evaluate his relationship with Kim.
"This is a real moment they need to step back and look at the policy," Cha said. "The president has been coddling the North Korean dictator, making excuses for his murdering an American college student, they've developed more fissile material and weapons between Singapore and Hanoi, and we've reduced our exercising on the Korean peninsula. So we've given a lot, and the North Koreans seem to be not responding in any way that's productive."
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