Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Trump says North Korean missile sites are 'nothing new'

North Korean missile bases,hidden North Korean missile bases,North Korea North Korea: World War 3 fears increase as satellites reveal nuclear weapons bases | Daily Star
Ellis Copeland | 14 November, 2018, 12:00

North Korea is hiding more than a dozen undeclared missile bases despite claiming it had dismantled its nuclear network, according to a U.S. think tank. 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!" the president tweeted.

The 13 sites are among an estimated 20 bases, small and dispersed across the country, that are believed to have underground facilities containing mobile launchers that can be quickly dispersed to other locations, according to the report from Beyond Parallel, a group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

"While missiles could be launched from within them in an emergency, Korean People's Army operational procedures call for missile launchers to disperse from the bases to pre-surveyed or semi-prepared launch sites for operations".

The New York Times quotes Victor Cha, one of the principals behind the CSIS report, as saying that work on the estimate 20 nuclear facilities has continued on despite diplomatic efforts and Trump's assertion that "there is no longer a nuclear threat"-making them more risky than ever before".

The report covers the Sakkanmol missile base in detail.

"The South Korean and USA intelligence officials know about the missile base in much more detail".

North Korea deploys medium-range missiles just 55 to 100 miles (90 to 150 kilometers) from the Demilitarized Zone that divides the peninsula. Trump, who's cited North Korea's yearlong freeze on nuclear weapons tests and ballistic missile launches as signs of progress, chalked up the change to a scheduling conflict, adding, "We think it's going fine, we're in no rush".

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 receive a concrete declaration of the size or scope of the weapons programmes, or a promise to stop deploying its existing arsenal.

Asked about the report, Trump's national security adviser John Bolton told reporters in Singapore on November 13 that Trump "has given North Korea an incredible opportunity to walk through a door to a different future if they denuclearize ... but they still need to do that".

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"I don't comment on matters that may or not pertain to intelligence", Bolton told reporters Tuesday on the sidelines of regional summits in Singapore.

Bolton said Trump was still interested in meeting Kim again.

There has been criticism of the way the CSIS report was portrayed in the media, especially by the New York Times, that called the findings (quote) "great deception" by the North.

Kim Eui-kyeom, spokesman for South Korea's dovish president, Moon Jae-in, disputed that North Korea was being deceptive as Pyongyang had never promised to get rid of short-range missiles.

Kim Hyo-sun tells us more.

The United States, meanwhile, has delayed approval of several requests for exemptions to UN sanctions to deliver tractors, spare parts and other humanitarian relief supplies to North Korea, according to documents seen last week by AFP. The U.S. said it would vet Russia's list, but administration officials have previously said Moscow is already violating the restrictions. The nuclear threat to the United States, South Korea, and Japan is exactly the same as it was before the Trump-Kim summit. Some are likely to house missiles that could reach the continental US when they become deployed.

On Twitter, Trump declared, "There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea".

"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.

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