WASHINGTON — U.S. analysts said Monday they have located 13 secret North Korean missile development sites, underscoring the challenge that the Trump administration faces in trying to reach its promised broad arms control agreement with Pyongyang.
The New York Post reports:
The administration has said it is hopeful about eventually reaching an agreement with North Korea. President Donald Trump declared after his historic summit in June that with President Kim Jong Un there was “no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.” But a report based on satellite imagery shows the complexity posed by an extensive network of weapons facilities that the U.S. wants to neutralize.
A report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies has identified 13 secret facilities used to produce missiles and related technology. 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 conceal its military might.
“The dispersed deployment of these bases and distinctive tactics employed by ballistic missile units are combined with decades of extensive camouflage, concealment and deception practices to maximize the survival of its missile units from pre-emptive strikes and during wartime operations,” they said.
The authors say the sites, which can be used for all classes of ballistic missiles, should be declared by North Korea and inspected in any credible, verifiable deal that addresses Pyongyang’s most significant threats to the United States and its allies.
South Korea’s presidential office said the report didn’t include any information it didn’t already know. Presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said continued activity at North Korean missile sites only underlines the need for nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang to proceed at a faster pace.
Kim took exception to a New York Times article on the report that said North Korea was engaging in “great deception,” saying that the North has never promised to dismantle a short-range ballistic missile base 84 miles northwest of Seoul that was highlighted by CSIS.
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