North and South Korea begin destroying border guard posts

Lester Mason
November 13, 2018

New commercial satellite images released Monday have identified more than a dozen undeclared North Korean missile operating bases, another sign that Pyongyang is continuing to move forward with its ballistic missile program amid indications that talks with the U.S. have stalled in recent months.

In this file photo taken on June 11, 2018 North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (R) walks with US President Donald Trump (L) during a break in talks at their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore.

North Korea has been quietly developing its ballistic missile program at 16 covert military bases, even as the totalitarian state tempers its fiery rhetoric against the West and engages in denuclearization talks with the United States, according to an analysis of satellite images by a Washington-based think tank.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies says it suspects North Korea has 20 missile operating bases that are undeclared by the government, and it has located 13 of them.

US President Donald Trump has been trying to deescalate conflict on the Korean peninsula.

North Korea dramatically improved its missile technology with provocative test launches previous year.

"President Trump has made clear that should Chairman Kim follow through on his commitments - including complete denuclearisation and the elimination of ballistic missile programmes - a much brighter future lies ahead for North Korea and its people", a spokesman said in a statement.

Cheong Wa Dae sent a gift of 200 tons of tangerines to North Korea, in return for the North's mushrooms in September following the summit between the two leaders in the North's capital city of Pyongyang, the presidential office said Sunday.

"Improving relations with Pyongyang may be a laudable goal, but any claim that the North Korean nuclear and missile threats have been solved is either wishful thinking or purposefully deceptive", he said. They say there are seven more bases that remain hidden.

Fox News notes that the report comes as denuclearization talks between the USA and North Korea have stalled-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's planned meeting with his North Korean counterpart last week was delayed indefinitely. "We're in no rush", he told reporters last week, when asked about the prospect of a second summit with Kim, adding that the rockets and missiles "have stopped".

Recently, North Korea has demanded that the United States end its tough economic sanctions now that it is negotiating with Trump over its nuclear program.

And in a landmark statement, North Korea declared its nuclear force "complete" and halted missile and nuclear bomb testing earlier this year, but US and South Korean negotiators have yet to elicit from Pyongyang a concrete declaration of the size or scope of the weapons programmes, or a promise to stop deploying its existing arsenal.

North Korea has not ackowledged any of the sites, and analysts say an accurate disclosure of nuclear weapons and missile capabilities would be an important part of any denuclearisation deal.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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