North Korea has agreed to allow the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to conduct an on-site inspection of the country’s missile launches in order to ensure the safety of international flights from the country’s missile launches, reports the Japan Times, citing officials with the Montreal-based UN agency.
Inspections by the ICAO aim to ensure that member states comply with its regulations concerning the safety of international aviation. The last review of North Korea, conducted in 2008, was not related to missile launches. –Japan Times
Assurances were given to high-ranking ICAO representatives by North Korea’s General Administration of Civil Aviation during the UN agency’s visit to the country in May.
The 192-member ICAO is now planning to send its personnel next year in order to verify what measures North Korea, which is a member of the group, has taken to keep unannounced missile launches in check as it pledged, they said.
After last May’s trip, the ICAO said North Korea had promised to suspend activities that represented a danger to civil aviation, including the test-firings of long-range missiles without prior notice. Pyongyang conducted numerous unannounced missile tests last year, posing an enormous threat to airplanes flying in the region. –Japan Times
The danger of North Korea missile testing was highlighted last July, when an Air France plane flying from Tokyo to Paris flew “downrange” of a North Korean ballistic missile which splashed down into the Sea of Japan off Hokkaido sailed past minutes later.
North Korea’s willingness to allow an on-site inspection is the latest in a series of measures taken by the isolated country to convince the world that it stands behind its pledge to dial back their ballistic missile program as it mends ties with the international community. The upcoming inspection will include visits to the country’s aviation authorities, as well as access to those in charge, according to the ICAO.
Last October, the ICAO issued a strong condemnation of North Korea’s seemingly continuous launches of ballistic missiles within range of international air routes without prior notice – claiming they seriously threatened the safety of international travelers.
Meanwhile, oiver the last two months, and amid desperate attempts by the neocons and their media lapdogs to disparage President Trump’s agreements with North Korea’s leader, claiming Kim is violating the terms, 38North confirmed that not only is progress being made on dismantling its nuclear missile launch facilities, but “activity at the launch pad appears to go beyond that commitment.“
Commercial satellite imagery from August 3 indicates additional dismantlement activities are ongoing at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station since last observed. At the vertical engine test stand, used for testing and development of engines for ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles, the North Koreans have continued to tear down the steel base structure and appear to be removing fuel and oxidizer tanks from dismantled bunkers.
At the launch pad, work on the rail-mounted processing/transfer structure used to support rocket launches continues, with two-thirds of the west wall and a third of the north wall having been removed, and its components remain on the adjacent ground. While the launch pad activity seems to be related to dismantlement, as it stands right now, we cannot rule out the possibility that it could be the beginning of a project to modify the structure for other purposes. –38North
It appears that North Korea is operating in good faith.