N. Korea Is Denuclearizing? Not According to These Images

Satellite pics shows possible new missile site near border with China
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2018 9:50 AM CST
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, third from left, views what the government calls an intercontinental ballistic missile on Nov. 29, 2017.   (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

(Newser) – People lie, satellite images don't—hence why the US and South Korea are closely monitoring a new suspected missile site near North Korea's central border with China. The facility in Hoejung-ni, "one of the most likely sites for deploying intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States," shows Pyongyang is continuing to improve its missile capabilities even as it presents a very different picture to the world, reports the New York Times, quoting two experts. Citing new satellite images obtained by CNN, Jeffrey Lewis and David Schmerler of California's Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey say the site featuring possible missile shelters is the ideal spot to "house long-range missiles," as its location "backed up against the Chinese border" reduces the risk of preemptive strikes from the US.

News of the construction, perhaps an expansion of the active Yeongjeo-dong missile base 7 miles away, follows a November report identifying at least 13 hidden missile bases in North Korea. Lewis and Schmerler argue missiles are still being mass-produced and deployed throughout the country, in contrast with President Trump's claims of progress on denuclearization. Indeed, satellite images show the Hoejung-ni site was still under construction as of August, two months after Trump said there was "no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea." "They have not lived up to the commitments so far," national security adviser John Bolton said Tuesday, per CNN. "That's why I think the president thinks that another summit is likely to be productive." Per the Times, Trump has said the meeting with Kim Jong Un could come in January or February. (Border posts are now being destroyed.)

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