We fully know about the sites being discussed, nothing new - and nothing happening out of the normal.
US analysts said Monday they have located more than half of an estimated 20 secret North Korean missile development sites, highlighting the challenge the Trump administration faces in ensuring that North Korea complies with any eventual agreement to end its nuclear and missile programs. That report said that while USA intelligence knew about the bases, their existence suggested "a great deception" because the country was improving some sites while offering to dismantle another major launching site.
Satellite imagery reveals North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may not have been entirely truthful when he invited foreign journalists to witness the apparent demolition of its Punggye-ri nuclear test site.
The bases can be used to hide mobile, nuclear-capable missiles, the study said, warning that North Korea could preserve the sites - and the ability to attack - even as it negotiates with Trump on a potentially landmark accord. A U.S. State Department spokesperson made it clear that the North's leader should follow through on his commitments, including complete denuclearization and the elimination of his ballistic missile program.
FILE - Evans Revere, former US deputy ambassador for East Asian affairs, speaks to the National Committee on American Foreign Policy and a North Korean delegation led by Vice Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, at the Korea Society in New York, March 10, 2012.
"While missiles could be launched from within them in an emergency, Korean People's Army operational procedures call for missile launchers to disperse from the bases to pre-surveyed or semi-prepared launch sites for operations".More news: Jimmy Kimmel slams Trump over California wildfire response
As time goes by, North Korea's likely expansion of its arsenal could force Washington to rethink its insistence on full denuclearization, said Moon Hong-sik, a research fellow at the Institute for National Security Strategy in Seoul.
The report comes as talks between the USA and North Korea hit another snag last week, with a NY meeting between Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and the top negotiator from Pyongyang canceled at the last minute.
South Korea also earlier played down the study, saying that the sites had been known for years.
North Korea is reportedly unhappy with the lack of lifting of sanctions since negotiations began and has not been satisfied with just the halt of the military exercises. Other U.S. intelligence officials have expressed concern about North Korea using hidden and undeclared locations to continue to work on improving their missile technology and their nuclear program. Published by the D.C. -based Center for global and Strategic Studies (CSIS), it soberly noted that the missile sites didn't pose a grave new security threat, nor were much of a surprise.
The Sakkanmol base in North Hwanghae Province now houses a unit equipped with short-range ballistic missiles but could easily accommodate medium-range ballistic missiles, the report claimed. "It has never signed any agreement, any negotiation that makes shutting down missile bases mandatory".
During Biegun's visit to Seoul late last month, the allies agreed to establish the working group for "regular, systemic and formal" communication on denuclearization, anti-Pyongyang sanctions and inter-Korean exchanges.