North Korea hiding missile bases in remote areas

13 Novembre, 2018, 03:16 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
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The secret missile bases have been identified in commercial satellite images and published Monday in a study by the Beyond Parallel program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. CSIS' conclusions were not immediately independently confirmed.

Intelligence agencies believe there are in the neighborhood of 20 similar bases scattered throughout the country.

Bases for shorter range missiles fit into a tactical belt 30 to 55 miles from the DMZ.

North Korea analysts not involved in the report said the findings were not surprising given Pyongyang's past activities but were still cause for concern.

The sites can build a slew of missiles for the regime, including intercontinental ballistic missiles that may have the ability to reach US territory.

The bases, according to experts, tend to be "rudimentary in nature" and feature underground tunnels for the storage of transporter erector launchers (TELs) and mobile erector launchers (MELs) that could be rolled out and dispersed to pre-prepared launch sites.

Last week, North Korea called off a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in NY, and state media said on Monday the resumption of some small-scale military drills by South Korea and the United States violated a recent agreement aimed at lowering tensions on the Korean peninsula. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the meeting that was set for last Thursday in NY "will now take place at a later date".

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North Korea said it has closed its Punggye-ri nuclear testing site and the Sohae missile engine test facility inMay and released images said to be of the site's destruction.

"We will reconvene when our respective schedules permit", Nauert said of the indefinite postponement. "North Korea is continuing to put in place infrastructure that supports its status as a nuclear weapons state", she says.

But the Trump administration says that sanctions must remain as pressure until a final accord, rejecting an incremental approach favored by ally South Korea as well as calls to end sanctions by China and Russian Federation.

Just weeks after a high-stakes summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Pyongyang appeared to be developing at least one or two liquid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missiles, the Post said, citing officials familiar with the intelligence. "We're in no rush", he told reporters last week, when asked about the prospect of a second summit with Kim, adding that the rockets and missiles "have stopped". "The sanctions are on".

Sakkanmol and other similar bases represent the backbone of North Korea's nuclear defense. The regime, through its state-run Korean Central News Agency, has accused the US of "nuclear blackmail".

Furthermore, North Korea has repeatedly rejected USA requests for a detailed and accurate disclosure of the country's nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities.

One of the destinations would be the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, where North Korean officials invited journalists to watch a partial demolition in September.



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