Satellite images reveal hidden North Korean missile bases
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Nov 15, 2018,
Nov 15, 2018, 1:36
None of the missile bases have been acknowledged by North Korea, and analysts say an accurate disclosure of nuclear weapons and missile capabilities would be an important part of any denuclearization deal. For decades, the bases have been camouflaged to prevent destruction from preemptive strikes and during military operations. Senator Edward Markey, a Democrat member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said on Monday that "President Trump is getting played by Kim Jong-un".
Years of intensive sanctions have severely impacted North Korea's supply of fossil fuels from the outside world.
But critics say the South risks conceding some of its conventional military strength before North Korea takes any meaningful steps on denuclearization - an anxiety that's growing as the larger nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang seemingly drift into a stalemate.
The Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) thinktank in Washington however has published satellite photographs of a short-range ballistic missile operating base near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) capable of accommodating medium-range missiles and threatening U.S. forces in the region.
Today, a new report from a Washington think-tank identified more than a dozen hidden bases in North Korea that could be used to disperse mobile launchers for ballistic missiles in the event of a conflict. "If the second summit blows up, then maybe we see a resumption of testing and fire and fury".
North Korea has said it has closed its Punggye-ri nuclear testing site and the Sohae missile engine test facility.
The Korean Marine Exchange Program (KMEP) violated a Sept 19 agreement signed by North and South Korea that called for a halt to "all hostile acts", said the Rodong Sinmun, North Korea's official party newspaper.
The report was released less than a week after North Korea abruptly called off a new round of negotiations with Mr Pompeo that had been set for Thursday in NY.
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The United States and North Korea are still divided on ways to advance the denuclearization process.
The State Department did not say whether they viewed the base as a violation of any agreements with the United States.
South Korea has around 60 such posts along the rest of the border while the North has about 160, Yonhap said.
But President Trump continues to boast about the success of US efforts, saying as recently as last week that North Korea had halted missile tests and returned American hostages. Pyongyang said however that it is still interested in pursuing talks and describes Trump as being a more amenable interlocutor than other United States officials.
North Korea continues to secretly develop its nuclear weapons programme despite months of talks with the USA, according to a report released by a Washington-based think tank.
But South and North Korea have conducted a number of inter-Korean projects created to lower tensions, including joint sports and cultural events, closing some guardposts along their shared border, and regular high-level negotiations.
However, he added, the report could also make the current stalemate between Washington and Pyongyang last "longer than expected".