Donald Trump said he had snuffed out North Korea’s nuclear threat. But new satellite images have revealed hidden mountain bases.
Evidence shows North Korea is advancing its nuclear program, despite its promises to shut down military sites, with at least 13 secret missile bases uncovered.
The research from a Washington think tank reveals Donald Trump’s claim he has helped start the process of denuclearisation is inaccurate.
The sites, found using satellite images, can develop weapons ranging from short-range ballistic missiles to intercontinental ballistic missiles, according to the reportpublished by the Beyond Parallel program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Monday.
Kim Jong-un may have as many as 20 undeclared missile operating bases around the country, the think tank reported, despite vowing to dismantle a major launching site and take steps towards denuclearisation.
The dismantling started and then stalled, and the new images show serious subterfuge was underway. North Korea was still making improvements at other bases to assist launches of conventional and nuclear warheads.
The country has failed to take even the first step towards denuclearisation by providing a list of existing sites.
The question of how many bases exist in North Korea has been the subject of speculation for decades, but has been carefully concealed through a combination of camouflage, concealment and deception.
While missiles could be launched from the bases in an emergency, they are not intended as launch sites. The Korean People’s Army would typically move missile launchers from the bases to special launch sites.
However, they would enable North Korea to inflict extraordinary damage, even if the missiles were only armed with conventional rather than nuclear warheads.
The report is a major embarrassment for the US President, who has boasted since his summit with Kim in Singapore in June of his immense diplomatic achievement.
Mr Trump said Kim had sent him “beautiful letters” and the pair “fell in love.”
In September, South Korean president Moon Jae-in announced that he and Kim had agreed on a process to completely denuclearise the Korean peninsula in a step towards peace.