North Korea missile base 'active,' USA analysts say

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis shakes hands with South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo

A US think tank said on Monday it had identified at least 13 of an estimated 20 undeclared missile operating bases inside North Korea, underscoring the challenge for American negotiators hoping to persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

US analysts said Monday they have located more than half of an estimated 20 secret North Korean missile development sites, highlighting the challenge the Trump administration faces in ensuring that North Korea complies with any eventual agreement to end its nuclear and missile programs.

Since that meeting, North Korea has forgone nuclear and missile tests, dismantled a missile test site and promised to also break up the country's main nuclear complex. This is the reply of the South Korean authorities for a gift to DPRK leader Kim Jong-UN in September he sent to the President of South Korea moon Jae Inu 2 tons of North Korean mushrooms and two puppies rare breed for hunting the poongsan.

Pompeo and other US officials have said that clearly includes dismantling its entire nuclear weapons program, but North Korea has not confirmed that.

In response to the CSIS report, a State Department spokesperson told ABC News, "President Trump has made clear that should Chairman Kim follow through on his commitments -including complete denuclearization and the elimination of ballistic missile programs - a much brighter future lies ahead for North Korea and its people". However, South Korean officials have pushed back by saying defensive exercises were exempt from the agreement.

One of the sites in question is the Sakkanmol Missile Operating Base, which sits about 85 miles from the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea.

Despite Kim's pledge to work toward the "complete" denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Pyongyang has yet to take credible action to dismantle its weapons programs.

The report cited numerous analysts and claimed the bases do not mean North Korea is cheating on its agreement with the U.S.as there is no nuclear deal in place yet with Washington.

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They are created to enable mobile missile launchers to quickly exit the underground facilities and move to previously prepared launch sites.

Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo said at a parliamentary committee Monday that 3,836 mines have been removed as of October 26 on the North Korean side of an excavation site in the DMZ, a four-kilometer-wide strip of land that has divided the Korean peninsula since an armistice accord ended the three-year conflict in 1953.

A Digital Globe satellite image shows what CSIS reports is an undeclared missile operating base at Sakkanmol.

Bases for strategic weapons such as intercontinental ballistic missiles - whose development is the subject of sanctions - are located deep inside the country.

The Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) thinktank in Washington however has published satellite photographs of a short-range ballistic missile operating base near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) capable of accommodating medium-range missiles and threatening United States forces in the region. "I have talked with the administration and basically what we're looking at is they postponed it because they weren't ready".

What about the agreement Kim signed?

The new satellite images come at a pivotal moment for nuclear talks, days after North Korea canceled the latest meeting between Pompeo and his North Korean counterpart Kim Yong Chol.

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