North Korea may be working on new intercontinental missiles
- Author: Jon Douglas Aug 02, 2018,
Aug 02, 2018, 1:56
Additional satellite photos show work now underway at the Sanumdong research facility near the capital city of Pyongyang on at least one and perhaps two liquid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs.
"We see them going to work, just as before", a USA official told The Post.
Asked about the report, the Pentagon declined to comment.
The new intelligence does not suggest an expansion of North Korea's capabilities but shows that work on advanced weapons is continuing weeks after President Trump declared in a Twitter posting that Pyongyang was "no longer a Nuclear Threat".
Lewis's group also published images of a large industrial facility that some USA intelligence analysts believe to be the Kangson uranium enrichment plant.
North Korea is continuing production of intercontinental-range ballistic missiles (ICBMs) at a known missile manufacturing site, US officials with knowledge of the latest classified intelligence of North Korea's weapons programs confirmed to The Diplomat.
A C-17 containing remains of fallen service members departed Wonsan, North Korea, on Thursday Hawaii time headed to South Korea and accompanied by United Nations Command Korea officials and technical experts from the accounting agency to preliminarily examine the remains.
U.S. intelligence officials familiar with Pyongyang's operations say that new evidence, including recent satellite photos, suggests that the regime is producing at least one liquid-fueled ICBM at the Sanumdong research facility, near Pyongyang.
Joel Wit, founder of the respected 38 North organization that monitors North Korea, noted it is not uncommon for a country to continue producing weapons up until the very moment an actual deal is signed.
"However, the attitude and stance the United States showed in the first high-level meeting (between the countries) was no doubt regrettable", the spokesman said.
Those kinds of challenges can drag out the process by many years.
"We too remain concerned" by North Korean violations of UN-approved sanctions, the USA official said.
And new satellite imagery from the Sohae Satellite Launching Station on North Korea's west coast suggests workers are dismantling an engine test stand, in line with a promise made to Trump.
"There are chance encounters, there are sometimes planned encounters - but we're not there yet for any announcement", the official said. "So between this and Kangson, we are seeing an expanded and improved nuclear and missile force". "This is a facility where they build ICBMs and space-launch vehicles". "But even if they are, you still have a nuclear deterrent, so it would still be a huge risk for the U.S.to try to attack".
Bruce Bennett, a senior Rand Corporation researcher, said North Korea's recent moves are a way pressuring Washington for sanctions concessions. Some of them, including Australia, Belgium, France and the Philippines, have yet to recover some of their war dead from North Korea.
The daughter of former president Megawati Soekarnoputri, who has continued to maintain the friendship with North Korea after her father Sukarno's reign, Puan seized the opportunity to congratulate North Korea's government and its people on the 70 anniversary of the nation's founding, which falls on September 9.
Satellite images showed continued activity at North Korean nuclear and missile sites.