North Korea may be preparing for a missile or space launch, US news outlet NPR has reported, based on satellite image analysis of a key facility near Pyongyang.
NPR said the images of Sanumdong, one of the facilities Pyongyang has used to produce inter-continental ballistic missiles and space rockets, were taken days before US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in Hanoi for their high-stakes summit, which ended in failure.
The photos by the firm DigitalGlobe show the presence of cars and trucks at the site on February 22, said NPR — which has exclusive access to the imagery.
It added that rail cars and cranes can also be seen at a yard.
“When you put all that together, that’s really what it looks like when the North Koreans are in the process of building a rocket,” Jeffrey Lewis, a researcher at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, was quoted as saying by NPR on Friday.
The Sanumdong analysis comes days after the specialised website 38 North and the Center for Strategic and International Studies said Pyongyang may have resumed operations at its long-range rocket launch site at Sohae, based on their study of satellite imagery from March 6.
The development is likely to further compound Washington’s frustration over the lack of progress in its bid to get the North to give up its atomic arsenal, especially after the February 27-28 summit between Trump and Kim collapsed without so much as a joint statement — let alone an agreement on nuclear disarmament.
According to senior US officials, in the week leading up to the Hanoi summit, the North Koreans had demanded the lifting of effectively all UN Security Council economic sanctions imposed on Pyongyang since March 2016.
In return, Pyongyang offered only to close part of the Yongbyon complex, a sprawling site covering multiple facilities. The North is also believed to have other uranium enrichment plants.
But North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong Ho disputed the US account, saying Pyongyang offered to dismantle all “nuclear production facilities in the Yongbyon area” in exchange for partial sanctions relief.
Trump said Friday that his relationship with Kim “remains good”, despite the setback in Hanoi.
US officials have said Washington believes the “final, fully verified denuclearisation” of North Korea is still possible by the end of Trump’s first term.
Kim released his first public message since the Hanoi summit on Saturday earlier this week, instructing propaganda officials to conduct “positive information” activities to spur scientific and technological development, according to a Saturday report by North Korean state media outlet KCNA.
Maddow breaks down front pages from ‘coast to coast’ to show the developing impeachment narrative
The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC examined how the impeachment hearings were being covered across the country on Friday.
"Expert: Ukraine meddling lie" was the front-page headline in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
The Tampa Bay Times ran with, "Hill: Discord serves Putin."
In Maine, the Portland Press Herald headline was, "Witness: 'Fictions' about Ukraine help Russia."
"Election-tampering theory called a fiction," was the headline in the San Antonio Express-News.
[caption id="attachment_1565181" align="aligncenter" width="800"] “The Rachel Maddow Show” graphic (screengrab)[/caption]
Giuliani associate Lev Parnas willing to testify Devin Nunes met with former Ukrainian official to get dirt on Joe Biden
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) has been tied to yet another questionable encounter with Rudy Giuliani's indicted associate.
It was revealed this week that Lev Parnas helped Nunes set up meetings in Europe in efforts to discredit the Russia investigation. It obviously failed, but Nunes closed his Intelligence Committee investigation nearly one year before Robert Mueller finalized his. Nunes missed several international connections, incidents of international donors funneling campaign cash into the U.S. and more.
Watch Chris Hayes’ epic scolding of the commander-in-chief in MSNBC special before a live studio audience
MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes publicly scolded President Donald Trump during a special showing of "All In" before a live studio audience.
The host broke down the discredited conspiracy theory Trump has been pushing that it was actually Ukraine -- not Russia -- that interfered in the 2016 election.
Hayes was especially shocked that Trump was going after Hunter Biden, when his job is to protect Americans.
"Because the president -- and I know he doesn't believe this, but it's true -- the president is the president of Hunter Biden, too," Hayes said. "He is."
"Because Hunter Biden is an American citizen and it is the president's duty to protect all Americans -- all Americans -- from the deprivations of foreign judicial systems. In fact, it is really the president's job to represent all of America's national interests. That's the job."