North Korea is building more intercontinental ballistic missiles, according to a new report.
The Washington Post on Monday reported that satellite photos show work is underway on at least one liquid-fueled ICBMs. The work is taking place in Sanumdong, near Pyongyang. The Post based its report on “officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe classified intelligence.”
The Post report said that despite actions to dismantle the Sohae Satellite Launching Station on North Korea’s west coast, North Korea is largely keeping its nuclear program going. The new report comes several weeks after President Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
The Post, citing intelligence gathered by unspecified U.S. agencies, said that “senior North Korean officials have discussed their intention to deceive Washington about the number of nuclear warheads and missiles they have, as well as the types and numbers of facilities, and to rebuff international inspectors.”
Satellite photos show work on at least one Hwasong-15 missile — the model that could reach the United States — according to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
Images show that the plant “is not dead, by any stretch of the imagination,” said Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.
“It’s active. We see shipping containers and vehicles coming and going,” Lewis said of the Sanumdong plant. “This is a facility where they build ICBMs and space-launch vehicles.”
North Korean expert Melissa Hanham said the plant had “regular traffic in and out of the building,” adding that this “traffic pattern” stayed “about the same through the Panmunjom and Singapore meetings,” according to the BBC.
The North Koreans “never agreed to give up their nuclear program,” said Ken Gause of the Center for Naval Analysis.
“The nuclear program provides them with a deterrent, in their mind, against regime change by the United States. Giving up the nuclear capability will violate the two fundamental centers of gravity in the North Korean regime.”
Officials have said they did not expect denuclearization to happen overnight.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week that North Korean factories “continue to produce fissile material” used in nuclear missiles, CNN reported.
Pompeo described denuclearization as “a process” that “will definitely take time.”
Gen. Vincent Brooks, who commands U.S. forces in Korea, has said North Korea’s “production capability is still intact.”
“So we haven’t seen a complete shutdown of production yet. We have not seen the removal of fuel rods. These types of things tell us that there are steps that still must be taken on the road to denuclearization,” Brooks said.
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