A new report claims to have discovered a secret ballistic missile base in North Korea.
The report from Beyond Parallel, supported by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, also claimed North Korea may have as many as 20 missile sites it has never officially disclosed.
“The North Koreans are not going to negotiate over things they don’t disclose,” report author Victor Cha told NBC.
“It looks like they’re playing a game. They’re still going to have all this operational capability.”
On Friday, President Donald Trump said that he would meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for a second summit meeting in February. Time reported that the meeting will take place in Vietnam.
Trump and Kim met in June in Singapore. At that time, the two leaders agreed to work toward the broad goal of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Follow-up talks between the two nations have resulted in limited progress toward that goal.
Since that time, concerns have been voiced that North Korea would not give up its nuclear program and is trying to hide its facilities.
Cha said the Sino-ri Missile Operating Base, about 130 miles north of the Demilitarized Zone the separates the two Koreas, is “clearly a mainstay of their strategic missile force.”
Beyond Parallel researchers said in the report that North Korea could have 20 undisclosed sites where it expands upon the country’s ballistic missile program.
Trump on Saturday said that talks with North Korea are progressing better than the establishment media has been reporting, according to a White House media pool report.
“Kim Jong Un is looking very forward to it and so am I. We’ve made a lot of progress that has not been reported by the media, but we have made a lot of progress as far as denuclearization is concerned. And we’re talking about a lot of different things,” Trump said.
“We’ve made tremendous progress that has not been reported, unfortunately, but it will be. Things are going very well with North Korea,” the president said.
The Media is not giving us credit for the tremendous progress we have made with North Korea. Think of where we were at the end of the Obama Administration compared to now. Great meeting this week with top Reps. Looking forward to meeting with Chairman Kim at end of February!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2019
Experts are divided over the state of any progress, according to the Voice of America.
“It seems that the North Koreans are the ones who have been driving the push for this second summit almost more so than the United States,” said Rodger Baker, vice president of strategic analysis for Stratfor, a private geopolitical intelligence compnay.
He said North Korea “reached out to China to make sure that everything was going okay there and that China had their back, and then they reached out to the United States.
However, Bruce Klinger, senior research fellow for Northeast Asia at the Heritage Foundation, said that “while some speculate that behind the scenes there had been quiet successes between the two sides, in reality, that really hasn’t been the case.”
Baker admitted that denuclearization is not “a viable and a realistic outcome anytime soon.”
“So the reality is that what the United States and North Korea and South Korea really are working towards is some way to manage North Korea and to find a way to ease a sense of imminent conflict,” he explained.
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