North Korea expands long-range missile base as Trump seeks second summit

North Korea expands long-range missile base as Trump seeks second summit

President Donald Trump's foreign policy advisor John Bolton confirmed this week that Trump still plans to meet with Kim Jong Un, the New York Times reported.

The developments come against a backdrop in which Mr. Trump and his advisers say they are hoping for a second summit with Mr. Kim to discuss progress - or the lack thereof - toward denuclearization.

The missile base activity and construction shown by the satellite imagery over Yeongjeo-dong occurred after Mr. Kim agreed during a major summit with President Trump in Singapore in June to abandon North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

But the North has rejected demands for what it calls "unilateral" disarmament, and has instead sought unspecified reciprocal USA measures in a gradual process. "That's why I think the President thinks that another summit is likely to be productive".

While closing test facilities would make it harder for North Korea to develop new types of warheads, that step would do little to prevent Kim from continuing to mass produce and deploy existing types of nuclear-armed missiles, as he publicly said in January he would continue to do.

One such facility is the missile base near Yeongjeo-dong, a site that has long concerned USA and South Korean officials and the subject of the analysis of the new images released Wednesday.

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"They have not lived up to the commitments so far", Bolton said.

In his meeting with Trump, Kim made a vague pledge to "work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" in return for "new" relations and security guarantees from Washington. But Lewis and Schmerler said that in recent years North Korea had significantly expanded what appeared to be another missile base in Hoejung-ni.

Since the Singapore meeting, talks between North Korea and the United States have stalled over how to eradicate the North's nuclear weapons program.

In an interview with Radio Free Asia, Thae Yong-ho, who defected from the North while serving as deputy ambassador to the United Kingdom, said that Pyongyang would never agree to end its weapons programme through a "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization" process. North Korea is now seeking security guarantees from the USA and relief from the worldwide sanctions.

Kim pretends to disarm and Trump pretends to believe him. "Around 2010, North Korea constructed a pair of large drive-through suitable for large ballistic missiles".

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