Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Trump Weighs 2nd North Korea Summit as Possible Missile Site Appears

North Korean sends top diplomat to key ally China North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho leaves the airport after his arrival in Beijing China
Ellis Copeland | 08 December, 2018, 11:16

"Absent mechanisms for the on-the-ground verification by inspectors, we can not confirm that North Korea has taken any other denuclearization steps at this time", he said.

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shake hands during the signing of a document after their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore, June 12, 2018.

But National Security Adviser John Bolton said Tuesday that there should be another summit with Kim.

Last month, images revealed that North Korea had been working to improve 16 hidden ballistic missile bases, despite halting moves on dismantling a major site in order to appease the US.

"We watch North Korea very closely", Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Chris Logan told CNN. "Any denuclearization agreement would require North Korea to allow global inspectors to determine that these units are no longer armed with nuclear weapons", according to the report from Lewis and Schmerler.

Some analysts say the activity is geared toward the continual development of nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles that could reach the US mainland.

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Despite the initial optimism generated by Kim and Trump's June summit meeting in Singapore, little has transpired since then.

"The Trump Administration has publicly promised to secure access to North Korea military facilities as part of any agreement", the report states.

In October, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Kim Jong-Un in Pyongyang to verify that the Punggye-ri nuclear test site had been "irreversibly dismantled". However, Pyongyang has recently also shown frustration with Washington for refusing to meet its concessions.

"This is one of the important locations in North Korea our military is monitoring in cooperation with the United States", Roh Jae-cheon, a South Korean military spokesman, said Thursday about the North Korean base.

North Korean efforts to upgrade and expand a long-range missile base come as no surprise to US intelligence officials, who have always been wary of promises by Pyongyang to denuclearize. A headquarters area is positioned at the mouth of the valley, the images show. "In front of the pair of drive throughs, there is a concrete pad that was also covered in dirt", according to the analysis by Lewis and Schmerler.

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