No Surprise in North Korea's Deceptive Missile Work

Friday, 16 Nov, 2018

In light of the recent news about North Korea's ballistic missile program, former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan says Kim Jong-Un managed to fool Donald Trump during their Singapore summit earlier this year.

Not only have USA intelligence agencies known about the secret missile sites for years, but Kim, the North Korean leader, has also made his intention plain: He plans to make the missiles capable of delivering a nuclear weapon.

"The story in the New York Times concerning North Korea developing missile bases is inaccurate".

The CSIS report said the satellite imagery shows recent minor infrastructure changes, and as of November 2018 "the base is active and being reasonably well-maintained by North Korean standards".

It said the bases 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".

It said: "North Korea's decommissioning of the Sohae satellite launch facility, while gaining much media attention, obscures the military threat to USA forces and South Korea from this and other undeclared ballistic missile bases".

He also said President Trump is ready for a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Did he know about the other missile bases when he said that?

The deadlock in the Washington-Pyongyang talks cast doubt on prospects for North Korea's denuclearization, experts said.

It's true that the North Korean missile program was never included in the Singapore statement signed by both leaders, and would not appear to breach any other agreements signed by Pyongyang.

"And of course, no one seriously believes that North Korea's underlying capability has been neutralised".

"At present, I see no imminent prospect for real dismantling of [North Korea's] nuclear weapons program and facilities", Manning said.

North Korea has long viewed denuclearization as a series of reciprocal steps taken over a long period of time, with both sides making concessions along the way. Although the sites are not launch facilities and in some cases are rudimentary, the authors of the report say they are hidden and illustrate the scope of the North's weapons program and the country's determination to hide its military might. The report goes against President Donald Trump's assertion that the North Korean nuclear weapons crisis is "largely solved", suggesting that Pyongyang's nuclear program is bigger than ever before.

"I assume the meeting was delayed because both sides realized that significant progress is not possible at this time, due to the major differences between the US and [North Korea] on denuclearization", said Samore. The Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said Sakkanmol does not contain intercontinental ballistic missiles, which are a main bone of contention for the U.S. But that sounds like Cheong Wa Dae is not at all concerned about the threat to the South. "The last round of tests under Kim Jong-un were not just coming from missile test sites".

During Biegun's visit to Seoul late last month, the allies agreed to establish the working group for "regular, systemic and formal" communication on denuclearization, anti-Pyongyang sanctions and inter-Korean exchanges.

Bermudez, who has contributed extensively to 38 North, was quoted by the newspaper as saying, "Any missile at these bases can take a nuclear warhead".

While the administration seeks to continue its "maximum pressure" campaign against Kim's regime, momentum is building to ease worldwide sanctions put in place previous year, a move the struggling to resist.