North to Destroy Its Main Missile Test Site
(Source: Korea Joongang Daily; issued Jan 29, 2019)
Seoul and Washington last week confirmed that Pyongyang will scrap its Tongchang-ri missile engine test site and launch pad in the presence of international experts, a South Korean diplomatic source said Monday.

That promise was one of several agreements reached by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last September in their third and most recent summit. The regime, however, has stayed quiet on the matter, as nuclear talks between the United States were deadlocked. The silence had left Pyongyang watchers wondering whether the regime would actually follow through and destroy the site.

The South Korean diplomatic source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said nuclear envoys from the three countries exchanged a to-do list last week in the outskirts of the Swedish capital of Stockholm as they were attending a so-called Track 1.5 international conference on denuclearization. The list was said to have outlined the tasks that each country promised to complete in the three summits between the South and North and the historic summit between the North and the United States last year.

In that process, the local source continued, Pyongyang said it was willing to carry out its promise to dismantle the Tongchang-ri missile engine test site and a launch pad while allowing outside experts to view the process. Whether a timeline was mentioned is not known. And Pyongyang also reaffirmed its will to dismantle the Yongbyon nuclear plant if the United States offers reciprocal measures, reiterating Kim’s promise to Moon in their last summit.

The three envoys agreed to continue further discussions in the near future. (end of excerpt)


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