A new report is claiming that North Korea has as many as 20 undisclosed secret missile sites across the country. This report comes just after Donald Trump recently held a summit with North Korean officials to discuss the denuclearization process. Another summit is already scheduled for February — before these new allegations came to light.
According to NBC News, the report comes from Beyond Parallel. The group was sponsored by a defense think tank named Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Researchers discovered the Sino-ri Missile Operating Base about 130 miles north of the Korean Demilitarized Zone. It is the headquarters for the Korean People’s Army Strategic Rocket Forces missile brigade. Reports indicate that missiles being constructed there are capable of reaching Japan, South Korea, and Guam.
North Korea has never confirmed the existence of this location — or the 19 others researchers claim to be spread throughout the country as well in various undisclosed spots. The base was not mentioned once during the conversations regarding denuclearization, and experts say that was no accident.
“The North Koreans are not going to negotiate over things they don’t disclose,” Victor Cha, one of the authors of the report, said in an interview. “It looks like they’re playing a game. They’re still going to have all this operational capability.”
NBC NEWS EXCLUSIVE: Report finds another undisclosed North Korea missile site, says there are 19 more https://t.co/Us2MpCi7Us— Jesse Rodriguez (@JesseRodriguez) January 21, 2019
This means that even if North Korea decommissioned all the public missile sites, they would still possess nuclear capabilities thanks to their undisclosed bases. Visual images indicate that there are a number of underground bunkers and missile sites that all show an abundance of recent activity.
The White House has not yet commented on the report. Just this weekend, Donald Trump was discussing the success of the most recent summit with North Korean officials, indicating that denuclearization was coming along as expected.
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
While the president has seen recent diplomatic relations with North Korea improve, others aren’t so sure. While North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with Trump last year, there has not been much visible process made toward denuclearization. Additionally, officials from North Korea have still not provided the United States with a comprehensive accounting of their nuclear weapons program and ballistic missile sites, despite repeated requests for this information.
Although there is another summit scheduled for the end of February, no specific date has been set — and some officials are concerned about what the meeting could bring. While officials believe Trump will push for further signs of denuclearization, some are worried about what he might be willing to compromise to achieve this goal. Some are concerned that Trump will agree to international sanctions relief, or even issue an end-of-war declaration.
North Korea has not yet issued a statement regarding the report.