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

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

New satellite images reveal North Korea has expanded a long-range missile base in the country's mountainous interior in defiance of its stated commitment to denuclearize, CNN reported Wednesday.

Recent satellite images obtained by CNN indicate Pyongyang has continued to maintain and update its Yeongjeo-ri missile base, in breach of its vow for complete denuclearisation.

In a report published last month, a Washington-based research institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said it had located more than a dozen North Korean missile bases still in operation.

"North Korea and the USA appear to be making headway", a high-ranking South Korean government source told the Hankyoreh paper.

"That's why I think the president thinks that another summit is likely to be productive", added President Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton.

President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

In a statement the Pentagon said: "We watch North Korea very closely but we can not discuss intelligence".

The State Department declined to comment, saying it doesn't discuss intelligence matters.

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"Meeting Kim again only validates Kim's strategy of using Trump to play for time and sanctions relief, and keep North Korea on the pathway to becoming a de facto nuclear weapon state", Medeiros told The New York Times.

Satellite images have picked up activity at a North Korean missile base.

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shake hands during the signing of a document after their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore, June 12, 2018. His administration has also repeatedly claimed progress in talks with North Korea, citing the lack of nuclear and ballistic missile tests since the country launched its Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile in November of past year.

The North officially suspended its nuclear and missile tests ahead of the June summit, and missile production and deployment does not technically violate any agreement between Pyongyang and the US and South Korea.

The Chinese foreign ministry said on Tuesday Ri was expected to meet his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and "exchange in-depth views" on bilateral relations; the situation on the Korean peninsula; and other issues of mutual concern.

A series of United Nations resolutions require North Korea to give up its ballistic missile program.

Kim announced the dismantlement of a nuclear facility at another site in Nyongbyon at a summit with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in in September.

In 2000, the United States sought access to this and other missile bases as part of an agreement to end North Korea's missile program - and was rebuffed by Kim Jong Un's father, Kim Jong Il. "One such facility is the missile base near Yeongjeo-dong".

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