North Korea secretly developing nuclear weapons programme: United States report


We fully know about the sites being discussed, nothing new - and nothing happening out of the normal.

"I will be the first to let you know if things go bad!" he said.

What little trust may have developed this year between the two longtime enemies seems to be quickly evaporating, as evidenced by North Korea's abrupt cancellation of talks last week in NY between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his negotiating counterpart, former North Korean spymaster Kim Yong Chol.

The new images were supplied by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). have identified 13 of an estimated 20 hidden missile operating bases unreported by North Korea. That report said that while US intelligence knew about the bases, their existence suggested "a great deception" because the country was improving some sites while offering to dismantle another major launching site.

The deadlock in the Washington-Pyongyang talks cast doubt on prospects for North Korea's denuclearization, experts said.

Experts said the undeclared sites had always been known to United States intelligence agencies but had never been publicly acknowledged by Mr Trump who asserted North Korea was "no longer a nuclear threat" following the June summit.

South Korea's top nuclear envoy is seeking to visit Washington as early as next week to discuss the launch of a "working group" with the United States for closer coordination on North Korea's denuclearization, diplomatic sources in Seoul said Wednesday.

FILE - Evans Revere, former US deputy ambassador for East Asian affairs, speaks to the National Committee on American Foreign Policy and a North Korean delegation led by Vice Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, at the Korea Society in New York, March 10, 2012. "What everybody is anxious about is that Trump is going to accept a bad deal - they give us a single test site and dismantle a few other things, and in return they get a peace agreement".

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"Missile operating bases are not launch facilities", the report said.

The administration has said it is hopeful about eventually reaching an agreement with North Korea.

The revelation of these sites is significant because the US has been working on Pyongyang to curb its nuclear and ballistic missile programme.

Many experts say the research is valuable in that it confirms unverified reports that had been long circulated among analysts. Published by the D.C. -based Center for global and Strategic Studies (CSIS), it soberly noted that the missile sites didn't pose a grave new security threat, nor were much of a surprise.

"It doesn't have to do with ICBM or IRBM", said Kim, regarding claims that it could accommodate other types of ballistic missiles. "I think Kim Jong-Un has really been masterful in terms of how he has duped Mr. Trump". The spokesman, Kim Eui-keum, said that Pyongyang had never agreed to shut down its short-range missile bases.

Many observers, including the Central Intelligence Agency, believe that Kim has no intention of ever giving up his nuclear weapons.

But the South Korean government and analysts played down the report, saying that the facilities had been known about for years and Pyongyang had never offered to give them up.

Pyongyang has asked for "phased and synchronised measures" for denuclearisation, meaning the worldwide community would slowly relax or drop sanctions with each step in the denuclearisation process, rather than waiting until its completion.