USA analysts locate secret NKorean missile sites

North Korea: World War 3 fears increase as satellites reveal nuclear weapons bases | Daily Star

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North Korea has said it closed its Punggye-ri nuclear testing site and the Sohae missile engine test facility.

The nuclear threat to the United States, South Korea, and Japan is exactly the same as it was before the Trump-Kim summit.

North Korea called off a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in NY last week and said the resumption of military drills by South Korea and the US violated agreements aimed at lowering tensions in the region.

But new reports released by Beyond Parallel, a programme at the Center for Strategic and International Studies say they have located 13 sites of an estimated 20 sites that are active ballistic missile operating bases. The researchers at the Washington think tank said they believe there are at least another seven they haven't yet found. Although the sites are not launch facilities and in some cases are rudimentary, the authors of the report say they are hidden and illustrate the scope of the North's weapons program and the country's determination to hide its military might.

Beyond Parallel is led by Victor Cha, who was a candidate to become Washington's ambassador to South Korea, a position left open by US President Donald Trump more than a year into his term in the White House. What [the CSIS reports show] is how hard it will be to really cap the programme.

Trump described a report on the findings by The New York Times as "inaccurate" and "fake news".

"These missile operating bases, which can be used for all classes of ballistic missile from short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) up to and including intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), would presumably have to be subject to declaration, verification, and dismantlement in any final and fully verifiable denuclearization deal", said CSIS.

The CSIS report said that the bases were scattered around North Korea and at times in narrow mountain valleys, meaning they could be quickly moved to launch strikes.

It's true that the North Korean missile program was never included in the Singapore statement signed by both leaders, and would not appear to breach any other agreements signed by Pyongyang. -North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island, in Singapore, on June 12.

"It rather calls for the need to restart (denuclearization) talks early", he said.

North Korean state media on Monday accused the United States of carrying out some small-scale military drills with South Korea, saying the drills violate their agreement to lower tensions on the Korean peninsula. "It was a loosely worded joint agreement".

The imagery of the missile work and the fuel production raises an important question about how Pompeo and Trump will assess their diplomacy with North Korea.

In past tweets, he's also said that the Iran nuclear threat is over. His negotiators, the argument goes, are continuing talks with the USA and South Korea in the hope of getting other concessions along the way. The missile bases are home to short range ballistic missiles that threaten US and South Korean forces on the Korean peninsula, medium and intermediate range missile bases that threaten USA bases in the Asia-Pacific and Japan, and intercontinental ballistic missiles that directly threaten the United States.

In his new-year's address this January, the young dictator Kim offered a different explanation.



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