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WASHINGTON: New activity has been detected at a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missiles plant, South Korean media said on Thursday, as US President Donald Trump said he would be very disappointed if Pyongyang rebuilt a rocket site.

Movement of cargo vehicles was spotted recently around a factory at Sanumdong in Pyongyang, which produced North Korea’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching the United States, South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo and Donga Ilbo newspapers reported, citing lawmakers briefed by the National Intelligence Service.

Spy chief Suh Hoon told the lawmakers he viewed the activity as missile-related, the JoongAng Ilbo said. It quoted Suh as saying North Korea continued to run its uranium enrichment facility at the main Yongbyon nuclear complex after the first summit between Trump and its leader, Kim Jong Un, in June in Singapore.

The reports came after the leaders’ second summit, in Hanoi, broke down last week over differences on the limits North Korea was ready to put on its nuclear programme and how willing the US was to ease sanctions.

Published in Dawn, March 8th, 2019