Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

Imagery shows North Korean ballistic missile base expansion

Imagery shows North Korean ballistic missile base expansion

Requests to visit that site and other missile sites were denied by leader Kim Jong Un, violating an agreement to end North Korea's missile program. The second site appears to be a new facility, although experts that CNN talked to from the Middlebury Institute speculated that the new site may be part of the Yeongjeo-dong base.

Some analysts say the activity is geared toward the continual development of nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles that could reach the US mainland. Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton said the North has not lived up to those commitments yet.

In their new report, Lewis and Schmerler said that while closing the test stand would make it harder for the North to design new kinds of missiles, "it would not prevent North Korea from continuing to mass produce and deploy existing types of nuclear-armed missiles that can strike the United States".

"That's why I think the president thinks that another summit is likely to be productive", Bolton said during the Wall Street Journal's CEO conference.

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Researchers were able to locate five entrances to underground tunnels they said may be used to store missiles.

But while Trump maintains that Kim committed to fully denuclearize during their summit in Singapore this summer, the truth is that the meeting only yielded a vaguely worded agreement, in which the two leaders pledged to build a "lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula" and to "work toward complete denuclearization" of the peninsula.

"North Korea appears to have begun to expand the base significantly, starting with the construction of a new headquarters area in 2014", the report stated.

Since the Singapore meeting, talks between North Korea and the United States have stalled over how to eradicate the North's nuclear weapons program.

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Despite the deadlock, Trump has said he and Kim are "getting along very well" and have a "good relationship".

North Korea insists on taking steps toward denuclearization only if Washington takes "simultaneous" reciprocal actions, such as easing sanctions.

President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

In an interview with Radio Free Asia, Thae Yong-ho, who defected from the North while serving as deputy ambassador to the United Kingdom, said that Pyongyang would never agree to end its weapons programme through a "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization" process. "These shelters are similar to the ones seen at the older portion of the Yeongjeo-dong base".

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