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Seoul welcomes reported dismantlement of N. Korean missile test site

All Headlines 11:43 July 24, 2018

SEOUL, July 24 (Yonhap) -- A senior official from South Korea's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae welcomed the reported dismantlement of a North Korean missile test site Tuesday, calling it a step toward the North's denuclearization.

"It will likely have a good effect on denuclearization," Nam Gwan-pyo, a senior director from the presidential National Security Office (NSO) told reporters when asked about the reported dismantlement of the missile test site in the North.

"It is a better sign than nothing, and I believe (the North) is moving step by step toward denuclearization," the Seoul official added.

An earlier report from 38 North, a U.S. web site monitoring the communist regime, suggested the North may have begun dismantling one of its key missile test sites, a key agreement reached at the historic summit between its leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12.

An informed source here has partially confirmed the report, noting the North appeared to have partially disassembled a tower crane near a launch pad at the test site on Friday and again on Sunday.

The reports follow an apparent dispute between Washington and Pyongyang over the speed and sequence of North Korea's denuclearization steps and international rewards for the impoverished nation.

Following a brief trip to Pyongyang earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he had productive discussions with his North Korean counterparts, but the North accused the U.S. of making "gangster-like" demands for its unconditional denuclearization.

Nam insisted the reported dismantlement of the North Korean missile test site may indicate North Korea moving ahead with its denuclearization efforts regardless of a possible discord with the U.S.


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