Korea Secret Missile Bases Revealed

Although the sites are not usually used for missile launches and in some cases are rudimentary, the authors of the report from the Centre for Strategic and International Studies say they are hidden and illustrate the scope of the North's weapons program and the country's determination to hide its military might.

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.

Kim and US President Donald Trump also held a historic summit in June in Singapore and signed a vaguely worded deal on denuclearization, but little progress has been made since then, with the two countries sparring over the exact meaning of the agreement.

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

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had been set to meet a top North Korean official on Thursday in NY to prepare a second summit and work on a potentially landmark deal on ending the totalitarian state's nuclear program.

"It's not like these bases have been frozen", Victor Cha, who leads CSIS's North Korea program, told The New York Times, which first reported on the study.

The Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party of Korea, slammed the exercise this morning.

North Korea are still operating undeclared missile bases and even improving some of their missile sites instead of shutting them down. The mushrooms were presented by Kim following a three-day summit in Pyongyang.

Trump said on Twitter shortly after that summit "there is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea".

Though the bases are not considered traditional launch facilities, missiles can be launched from the locations in an emergency, the report stated.

The imagery shows barely visible entrances to seven underground facilities at the Sakkanmol missile base - each protected from artillery fire and air strikes by 60-foot-high (18-meter) berms made from rock and dirt excavated from the site.

The base, located in mountainous terrain, contains a unit equipped with short-range ballistic missiles, the report said, and could house medium-range ones.

Last week, talks between US Secretary Mike Pompeo and senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol were delayed but neither countries revealed a reason for the postponement.

Bermudez began studying the North Korean ballistic missile infrastructure in 1985.

"During today's meeting, the two Koreas primarily discussed where and in what ways they will conduct field examinations with regard to roads along their eastern and western coasts and agreed to have further discussions", the ministry said in a text message sent to reporters.

With North Korea and the U.S.in a stalemate again, it remains to be seen how the latest report will affect their talks, and possibly the planned second North Korea-U.S. summit slated for early next year.

  • Rogelio Becker