Published: Wed, August 01, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

North Korea is working on new missiles, United States spy agencies say

North Korea is working on new missiles, United States spy agencies say

The newspaper suggests this is not an expansion of North Korea's nuclear program, but evidence that the country's development of advanced weapons has continued. That's according to a report by The Washington Post, which cited officials who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to describe classified intelligence.

Well, weeks after the historic summit between the United States and North Korea's Kim Jong-un, in which the latter agreed to denuclearization, there are reports that the communist nation is developing new intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The report was based on classified intelligence supplied by USA officials under the condition of anonymity.

This commercial satellite image shows North Korea's Sanumdong missile assembly facility south of Pyongyang on July 7.

After that meeting, the U.S. president declared North Korea was no longer a nuclear threat and there was cautious optimism that the secretive state could call time on its missile programme.

Joel Wit, a former State Department negotiator and founder of 38 North, a North Korea monitoring project, said it was unrealistic to expect North Korea to stop its programs "until the ink is dry on an agreement".

Another US official was quoted by Fox News as saying that there was "no evidence" that Pyongyang stopped its work of building missiles, despite dismantling a nuclear test site recently. He said Kim understood the US definition of denuclearization and that the North was not taking the Trump administration "for a ride".

It's not clear that North Korea has moved on to a new era of being extra deceptive ... because the current levels of deceptions seem to have been serving it well.

So we got our hostages back, but they've blown up one of their sites, one of their testing sites, their primary testing site, in fact some people say their only testing site, they are getting rid of a missile, which isn't in the document, that was done afterwards, they're getting rid of a missile testing site - they're doing so much now.

Still, at the Senate hearing, when asked by Colorado Republican Senator Cory Gardner if "the complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization by the end of the president's first term" remains the goal, Pompeo's response was, "Yes, more quickly, if possible". Both are in line with Kim's directive during his 2018 New Year's Day address for the country's missile engineers and nuclear scientists to mass produce warheads and missiles. USA intelligence agencies believe that it has been operational for at least a decade.

The North Korean view, he says, is of "a distant future, when USA forces are completely withdrawn not necessarily from only the Korean Peninsula, but maybe from the entire East Asia, maybe from the Pacific and what about Hawaii, or what about surrender of US nukes and Russian nukes and Chinese nukes?"

During the meeting, Maharani invited a joint North and South Korean team to take part in the Asian Games, as part of efforts to improve relations between the countries and strengthen reconciliation progress on the Korean Peninsula. It also provides a commercial satellite image, taken on July 7, showing the factory in question. It had been used to assemble space launch vehicles and develop and test liquid-fuel rocket engines.

As noted above, North Korea appears to be building more long-range ballistic missiles even as it dismantles the Sohae station. "North Korea is not negotiating to give up their nuclear weapons", Lewis said.

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