North Korea Building New Missiles Despite Pledge to Denuclearize

Satellite imagery gathered by U.S. intelligence agencies indicates that North Korea is building new ballistic missiles at a factory just outside its capital, according to The Washington Post.

The newspaper, quoting “officials familiar with the intelligence,” says North Korea is working on “one and possibly two liquid-fueled ICBMs” at its Sanumdong facility on the outskirts of Pyongyang.

The report follows last month’s summit in Singapore between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, after which Trump hailed in a tweet that “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”

On Tuesday, North and South Korea held their second round of military talks since June, when the first such meeting took place at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), where the two sides pledged to halt “all hostile acts.”

According to the Post‘s latest report, “The new intelligence does not suggest an expansion of North Korea’s capabilities but shows that work on advanced weapons is continuing …”

The newspaper writes:

“The Sanumdong factory has produced two of North Korea’s ICBMs, including the powerful Hwasong-15, the first with a proven range that could allow it to strike the U.S. East Coast. The newly obtained evidence points to ongoing work on at least one Hwasong-15 at the Sanumdong plant, according to imagery collected by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in recent weeks.

‘We see them going to work, just as before,’ said one U.S. official.”

The Post quotes officials as saying that the Sohae Satellite Launching Station on North Korea’s west coast is an exception to the “business as usual” assessment. As we wrote last week quoting the 38 North monitoring site, the North has reportedly begun dismantling that facility, which was used in part to test new liquid-fuel rocket engines.

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SOURCE: NPR, Scott Neuman