South Korea’s spy agency, National Intelligence Service disclosed that North Korea has started preparing its nuclear and missile test sites for international inspections, the Yonhap news agency said Wednesday while citing a South Korean lawmaker.
Democratic Party’s Kim Min-ki told reporters that intelligence officials had observed what they believed to be preparations for possible inspections at Punggye-ri nuclear test site and the Sohae Satellite launching ground.
The spy agency observed North Koreans “conducting preparation and intelligence activities that seem to be in preparation for foreign inspectors’ visit,” the lawmaker said, but no major movements were noted at Yongbyon, which is the North’s main nuclear complex.
In the past year, the Kim Jong Un-governed country had ceased nuclear and missile tests but refused to allow international inspections of its dismantling of Punggye-ri in May. The move had been dubbed as a show, with possibility of reversal.
In September, Kim, in a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, had pledged to also close Sohae and allow experts to observe the dismantling of the missile engine testing site and a launch pad.
Moon had said North Korea agreed to let international inspectors observe a “permanent dismantlement” of key missile facilities, and take further steps, such as closing Yongbyon, in return for reciprocal moves by the United States.
In lieu of easing sanctions and officially ending the Korean War, which are Pyongyang’s goals for the completing the goal of a denuclearized peninsula, Washington demanded steps such as a full disclosure of the North’s nuclear and missile facilities.