WASHINGTON – President Trump declared “a little disappointed” on Thursday with new evidence that North Korea restored a space missile launch site, which a US senior official warned that a satellite launch would break Kim Jong’s commitments to discontinue missile and nuclear testing .
One week after a fruitless meeting in Vietnam with Kim, the North Korean leader, Trump tried to avoid being very concerned about the satellite proof that Pyongyang reactivated the launch site. Analysts believe the restoration of the site is one of several steps Kim takes to gain leverage, as Mr Trump requires a full dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
Last June, after the first meeting with Kim in Singapore, the president proposed that the success of the operation could be assessed in six months.
But diplomacy has come into being. And North Korea’s behavior – which may simply mean suspicion that Trump’s refusal to lift sanctions against Pyongyang as opposed to the phasing out of its oldest nuclear field – suggests that the two countries may return to threats and contradictions.
The trump administration’s patience with North Korea’s program is in stark contrast to more specific warnings it gave when Iran was preparing to launch a similar space mission. The apparently civil space missions are considered proxy for a missile start; Many of the technology needed to throw a satellite into space is the same as starting a war head.
The room facility in North Korea is called Sohae, and Kim promised Mr. Trump in Singapore that it would be dismantled.
On Thursday, a research group at at the Center for Strategic and International Studies said the latest activities on the Sohae website “the amount of a” snapback “from moderate disassembly completed” last year.
The authors of the report – Victor Cha, a former George W. Bush administration’s national security officer, whom Trump considered for the US ambassador to Seoul, and Joseph Bermudez, a long-term satellite imagery of North Korea – said the images show how easy it is for north to “reverse measures that it can take against denuclearisation in the future”.
So far, however, there has been no missile on the launch at Sohae.  At the State Department, the high administration said that the United States had not concluded whether North Korea intended to launch. But that would mean that it was a consequence of the commitments made to Mr Trump, the official told journalists in a briefing where he insisted on anonymity to discuss the sensitive diplomat.
In fact, Kim seems to have reflected several of them commitments. Sohae was never wound up and inspectors never allowed.
Likewise, North Korean officials told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a visit to Pyongyang last autumn that they would allow international inspectors to a nuclear test site they said had been sealed after its entrances were inflated. The inspectors have never been allowed into the country.
While Trump and his staff have done all they can to avoid criticizing Kim directly or preventing negotiations, the administration officials said they knew it would be impossible to ignore or explain away, a space mission.
When Iran recently tried to launch its own satellite, the State Department issued a series of highly-formulated warnings to Tehran. The mission failed, and there was some speculation that whether the error was the result of an American sabotage program. The United States ran a similar program during the Obama administration against North Korea.
Mr. Trump’s comments to North Korea were much softer than the warnings to Iran – a reflection of the care he didn’t take to eradicate Mr Kim.
But Kim never made any written commitments to remove the sites or supervise inspectors. North Korean officials have also argued that the US has failed in its commitments to take action to improve relations between the two countries, starting with the abolition of the most effective sanctions on imports and exports.