New satellite images discovered by researchers appear to show activities taking place on an unidentified long-range missile base in North Korea.
Published Wednesday by CNN, the images show the expansion of an unidentified and active long-range missile base near the Yeongjeo-dong base previously identified in the mountainous interior of North Korea. Analysts say the images show that continued construction has been undertaken to upgrade and expand both facilities, despite months of high-level talks and negotiations between North Korea, neighboring South Korea and the United States.
The new images emerged a month after US analysts identified at least 13 of the 20 North Korean secret missile sites and six months from the historic meeting of North Korean chief Kim Jong Un with US President Donald Trump in Singapore in June. "Whatever Kim says about his desire for denuclearization, North Korea continues to produce and deploy nuclear armed missiles," he told CNN Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, one of the analysts who identified the site.
The results seem to undermine Kim's commitment to reduce his country's nuclear capabilities, most recently announced at a September summit with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in. At that meeting, the North Korean leader agreed to permanently dismantle a nuclear plant at another Nyongbyon site, awaiting US reciprocal measures. The announcement has garnered the praise of President Trump, who defined the development "very exciting" in a tweet.
The State Department of the United States and the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs have refused to officially comment on the images, according to CNN. At an event in Washington on Tuesday, US national security adviser John Bolton said that Trump is in favor of holding a second summit with Kim, due to the impossibility of North Korea to meet commitments taken during their first meeting in June. However, that particular summit led to a vague agreement signed by both leaders to "work towards complete denuclearization" of the Korean peninsula rather than a total commitment by Kim to denuclearize.