North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has committed to the U.S. that North Korea will destroy the Ch’olsan County, North Pyongan province testing site, which sometimes is referred to as the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground, CBS News reports. This agreement was made when President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in Singapore earlier this month, administration officials confirmed. This is the missile test engine site that Trump had mentioned after their meeting, though at the time he did not name it.
North Korea has used the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground to test liquid propellant engines for its long range ballistic missiles. Experts also say that this site is believed to be where the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, which can target the U.S. mainland, was developed. This rocket engine test facility can be used for space launch and ICBM launching which are the delivery mechanism for nuclear weapons. Bob Carlin, a former North Korea intelligence adviser for the State Department North Korea, tells CBS News it is significant that the North is destroying this testing site because it is one of the largest in the country.
At the summit, Kim promised that North Korea would destroy a missile engine test stand “soon,” according to administration officials. But there is still no set timeline for the demolition that the White House is willing to publicly reveal.
“The United States will continue to monitor this site closely as we move forward in our negotiations,” said a senior administration official.
The disclosure of this site, along with the confirmation that North Korea will be returning the remains of the about 250 POWs who could be American service members from North Korea, demonstrate that portions of the discussions at the Singapore summit are being acted upon.
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SOURCE: CBS News, Kylie Atwood