NORTH Korean President Kim Jong-un appears to be keeping his word: new satellite imagery assessed by North Korean think-tank 38 North shows the dismantling of his nuclear and ballistic missile program is underway.

The progress potentially marks a significant step after last month’s summit between Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump.

Using commercial satellite imagery, 38 North says the Sohae Satellite Launching Station and test facility is being pulled apart. Sohae, on the northwest coast of North Korea, has been used to test rockets, with the aim of putting a satellite into orbit.

The facility is believed to have played an important part in the development of North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile program.

“These efforts represent a significant confidence building measure on the part of North Korea,” analyst Joseph Bermudez writes adding the move was an “important first step” for Kim in fulfilling commitments he made to Trump during their June summit in Singapore.

The satellite photos show that, over a three-day period, the Sohae facility’s rail-mounted missile transfer and processing facility was being pulled apart. So far, however, key fuel bunkers and the main gantry launch tower remain intact.

But a separate Vertical Engine Test Stand appears to be much further along the demolition process. Shelters have been razed, older fuel bunkers broken up and the missile stand’s steel framework removed.

Again, the process is not yet entirely complete: 38 North says newer fuel bunkers and the launch pad’s concrete foundations remain untouched.

A US defence official, however, told AFP that the Pentagon was not closely tracking activities at Sohae in terms of how it relates to the denuclearisation of North Korea.

“It’s not on the radar, so to speak,” the official said.

US President Donald Trump said yesterday he was “very happy” with how talks were progressing with North Korea, as observers and the media highlight the lack of concrete results one month after his summit with Kim Jong Un.

“A Rocket has not been launched by North Korea in 9 months. Likewise, no Nuclear Tests. Japan is happy, all of Asia is happy,” Trump tweeted.

“But the Fake News is saying, without ever asking me (always anonymous sources), that I am angry because it is not going fast enough. Wrong, very happy!” Trump appeared to be referring to an article in The Washington Post on Sunday that claimed the president was frustrated with the lack of immediate progress, despite his public statements claiming the talks were a success The article cited unnamed White House aides, State Department officials and diplomats.

Trump hit out at the Post in a series of tweets on Monday, saying the paper, which is owned by Amazon boss Jeff Bezos had “gone crazy against” him.

In a joint declaration after his historic summit with Trump on June 12 in Singapore, the North Korean leader “reaffirmed his commitment” to work towards the “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” But the actual details of the process, including how and when the North’s nuclear program is to be dismantled, have yet to be hammered out.

A month ago, the US administration insisted on the “urgency” of denuclearization, and said it would begin “very quickly.” “We’re hopeful we can get it done” by 2020, before the end of Trump’s term, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at the time.