Kim Jong-un’s regime continues to push forward with missile expansion sites
Despite agreements with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that his country would shut down their main missile testing and launch sites, satellite images show that North Korea is still secretly upgrading its ballistic missile program.
On Monday, satellites uncovered new evidence that N. Korea is continuing to expand its missile stockpiles at 16 secret facilities.
“The development suggests North Korea’s promise to shut down one major test site was an attempted deception,” The Daily Beast reports.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies states that Kim Jong-un’s regime is attempted to obscure the threat the nation poses to the international community.
“North Korea’s decommissioning of the Sohae satellite launch facility while gaining much media attention obscures the military threat to U.S. forces and South Korea from this and other undeclared ballistic missile bases,” the CSIS said in a statement.
According to the Daily Wire, this finding likely relates to the United States’ recent decision to pull out of a high-level negotiation between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korea’s Kim Yong Chol last week.
None of this is any shock, of course.
North Korea has relied on deception with regard to the West for decades, lying to Presidents Clinton, Bush, Obama, and now Trump about their intentions to disarm.
But North Korea’s regime has no intentions of disarming.
In fact, thanks to President Trump’s much-ballyhooed summit with Kim Jung Un, the North Koreans have an even larger stake in maintaining their nuclear and missile programs: they know that those programs are all that stand between them and the possibility of a coup attempt by allies of the West.
It was North Korea’s nuclear program that earned them a seat at the big boy table with the United States in the first place.
According to the Daily Beast, the secret missile bases were identified in a study to be published Monday by the Beyond Parallel program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.
The disclosure is another blow for negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea.
Nuclear talks between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a high-ranking North Korean official were called off last week as the two sides hit an impasse.
The U.S. believes North Korea’s progress on nuclear disarmament has been too slow, while Kim Jong Un wants the U.S. to ease up its sanctions against his country.
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the meeting that was set for last Thursday in New York “will now take place at a later date.”
“We will reconvene when our respective schedules permit,” Nauert said of the indefinite postponement.
“Ongoing conversations continue to take place. The United States remains focused on fulfilling the commitments agreed to by President Trump and Chairman Kim at the Singapore Summit in June.”
Trump also reassured critics that talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un were still occurring.
“We are in no rush,” Trump said Wednesday.
“The sanctions are on. The missiles have stopped. The rockets have stopped. The hostages are home.”
But despite Trump’s description of progress, North Korea has repeatedly lashed out at the U.S. and threatened to resume building up its “nuclear forces.”
The regime, through its state-run Korean Central News Agency, has accused the U.S. of “nuclear blackmail.”
North Korea took a step toward denuclearization last month when Kim told Pompeo he was ready to allow international inspectors into its nuclear and missile sites — a step North Korea has repeatedly refused to take in the past.
One of the destinations would be the Punggye-Ri nuclear test site, where North Korean officials invited journalists to watch a partial demolition in September.