North Korea hiding missile bases in remote areas

The Center for Strategic and International Studies, relying on satellite images, defector testimony, and interviews with defence and intelligence officials, has discovered 13 of an estimated 20 possible secret ballistic missile bases hidden in the mountains of North Korea.

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 United States have stalled in recent months.

This comes after North Korea canceled a meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week, with outgoing United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley explaining the north was "not prepared" for the talks.

The facilities identified in the new report are located in strategic locations that would put missiles in range of South Korea and Japan, according to the report.

On Monday South Korea's Defense Minister said more than 600 landmines were removed from the North's side of the village.

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.

The Trump administration has touched on the possibility of resuming the two major spring exercises with South Korea known as Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, the sources said.


The United States and North Korea are still divided on ways to advance the denuclearization process.

North Korea declared its nuclear force "complete" and halted missile and nuclear bomb testing earlier this year, but USA and South Korean negotiators have yet to elicit from Pyongyang a concrete declaration of the size or scope of the weapons programs, or a promise to stop deploying its existing arsenal. In September, U.S. officials told NBC News that they had observed North Korean workers moving warheads.

Kim and US President Donald Trump also held a historic summit in June in Singapore and signed a vaguely worded deal on denuclearization, but little progress has been made since then, with the two countries sparring over the exact meaning of the agreement.

While no clear reason was given for why the sudden scheduling conflict, the USA and South Korea tried to quell concerns and said the talks would be rescheduled shortly.

The images suggest North Korea has not dramatically stepped down its ballistic missile development, despite the highly publicised deconstruction of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in July.

Those inspectors still have not been allowed into the country, and the North Koreans have so far not set up meetings with Pompeo's point person, Special Representative Stephen Biegun, who is supposed to lead talks on the working level.

"We have given a lot of carrots up until now". Pyongyang said however that it is still interested in pursuing talks and describes Trump as being a more amenable interlocutor than other USA officials. "The U.S. has shown a lot of actions. There's no time to stall or no time to delay".


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