Published: Thu, November 15, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

North Korea hiding missile bases in remote areas

North Korea hiding missile bases in remote areas

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump pledged to work toward denuclearization at their landmark June summit in Singapore, where Trump promised to end joint, US South Korea military exercises.

But researchers at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington said they have located 13 missile operating bases that have not been declared by the government, and that there may be as many as 20.

"It's not like these bases have been frozen", Victor Cha, who leads CSIS's North Korea program, told The New York Times, which first reported on the study and headlined its findings as suggesting a "great deception" by Pyongyang.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's planned meeting with his North Korean counterpart in NY on Thursday was postponed at the last minute.

Continuing a long-standing effort to reduce military presences along the demilitarized zone, North and South Korea spent the weekend taking apart a series of guard posts, with 22 posts along the front-lines being totally disarmed, removing all troops and equipment.

Seoul's gesture comes after the North gave South Korea two tons of pine mushrooms in September.

The bases are arranged in 3 belts across North Korea, according to the report, with those for strategic missiles deep inside the country. The report could be a problem for US President Trump's foreign policy towards the DPRK.

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Donald Trump and his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, have portrayed the USA president's June summit with Kim in Singapore as an unprecedented breakthrough, and pointed to the partial dismantling of a nuclear test site and a missile engine test area as side of progress towards North Korean disarmament.

Asked whether the shipment breaches worldwide sanctions on North Korea, the Blue House asserted it does not as the tangerines are merely a reciprocal gift with no strings attached.

The State Department did not say whether they viewed the base as a violation of any agreements with the United States. "But we are very happy how it is going with North Korea", Trump said. Given the remote mountain location of the base and North Korea's limited infrastructure, "it's easier to have as much located at the facility as possible", she says.

"But I will say this, I will say this very simply - We are in no rush, the sanctions are on", he said.

The two nations technically remain at war after the 1950-53 Korean War that sealed the division of the peninsula and ended with a ceasefire instead of a peace treaty. Trump has cast his diplomacy with the elusive thirtysomething leader as evidence of his masterful deal-making. It is the largest in eight years, the party of South Korean goods sent to North Korea.

Construction entered a second phase from 2010 to 2011, when North Korea added barracks, vehicle maintenance and storage facilities, and little change was observed after Kim Jong Un fully assumed power in 2012.

Park Won-gon, an worldwide relations professor at Handong Global University, said the United States government seems to have leaked the information deliberately to the CSIS in order to put more pressure on Pyongyang. Chinese soldiers fought for North Korea.

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