North Korea 'hiding missile bases', say United States researchers

14 November, 2018, 01:40 | Author: Wade Massey
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects a constructions site of Yangdeok

"It doesn't have to do with ICBM or IRBM", said Kim, regarding claims that it could accommodate other types of ballistic missiles.

South Korea's presidential office said the report didn't include any information it didn't already know.

Blue House Spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom told reporters Tuesday that Seoul and Washington have been aware of the missile bases through their military satellites, . and that the allies will continue to keep their eyes on them.

Less disputable is that North Korea could quickly assault South Korea, including its capital Seoul, and Japan in a crisis.

Monday's photos come just days after North Korea abruptly cancelled a meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, where the leaders were expected to discuss allowing worldwide inspectors into the country to confirm Pyongyang has begun dismantling its nuclear and missile test sites. "I think Kim Jong-Un has really been masterful in terms of how he has duped Mr. Trump".

Since the summit in Singapore, North Korea has forgone nuclear and missile tests, dismantled a missile test site and promised to also break up the country's main nuclear complex.

The CSIS report said that the short-range ballistic missile base is one of the 20 undeclared missile bases in North Korea.

A State Department official, asked whether those hidden sites went against the spirit of the summit and whether North Korea must give them up, said Trump had made clear that "should Chairman Kim follow through on his commitments - including complete denuclearization and the elimination of ballistic missile programs - a much brighter future lies ahead for North Korea and its people".

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While US sanctions on North Korea remain in place, enforcement by traditional trading partners China and Russian Federation has relaxed since the Singapore summit, US officials have acknowledged.

The South Korean government and analysts played down the report, saying there was "not much new" about the findings.

He added Washington can not have another summit with Pyeongyang, unless the regime takes "concrete, tangible actions" to halt and roll back its nuclear and missile programs. "It has never signed any agreement, any negotiation that makes shutting down missile bases mandatory". North Korea claimed previous year that its intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) are capable of capable of launching a nuclear warhead and strike the USA mainland.

The Times said the Pentagon had planned to begin deploying a new generation of small, affordable satellites to track North Korea's mobile missiles, but the programme has been held up by bureaucratic and budget disputes.

The activity at the missile bases is one of several examples why American officials may be reluctant to lift any sanctions, said Shin Beom-chul, director of the Center for Security and Unification at Seoul's Asan Institute for Policy Studies. They noted that Kim had not agreed to halt either nuclear weapons or missile development in negotiations with Trump or Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The Trump administration abandoned Victor Cha as its pick for the South Korean ambassador's post because Cha disagreed with the "bloody nose" preventive strike strategy proposed by some in the administration as a way to achieve the president's goal of removing nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula, according to analysts interviewed by the South China Morning Post at the time.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had been scheduled to meet in NY last week Kim's right-hand man, Kim Yong Chol, to discuss denuclearization efforts and prepare for a possible second summit, according to the State Department.

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