President Trump on Tuesday dismissed reports that North Korea operates more than a dozen "undeclared" missile sites, indicating that development…
President Trump on Tuesday dismissed reports that North Korea operates more than a dozen “undeclared” missile sites, indicating that development will not track a potential second summit with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un as management officials say they hope may occur in the start of next year.
With several regional analysts claiming that the Kim regime has not technically discussed any agreement with the United States – since no concrete denmarking affair between Washington and Pyongyang has been signed, Trump reports of ongoing North Korean missile activity as “nothing new”.
The President tweeted Tuesday that the US has long been aware of the North Sakkanmol missile base and more than a dozen other places across the recurring country and South Korean officials said they also knew if the facilities revealed this week by researchers at a Washington tanker tank.
Mr. Trumps critic has locked the information ̵
1; profiled in a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies – as evidence that Kim plays him at the world stage.
However, North Korea analysts told The Washington Times on Tuesday that the missile sites and activities described in the report could provide more incentives for the administration to increase the pressure on Kim regime in ongoing talks against a controllable step-by-step denuclearization pact with Pyongyang.
They also warned to overthrow the CSIS report could undermine the sensitive conversations at a crucial moment, five months after Mr. Trump and Kim had their first summit and led to a potential face to face.
“I would say the activity is a violation but not a fraud. It is a violation of many UN resolutions,” said Bruce Klingner, a former CIA official and senior member specializing in Northeast Asia at the Heritage Foundation.  “The continued existence of nukes and missiles every day is a daily violation.” Mr. Klingner said.
“Now it’s not necessarily a breach of the summit,” he said, referring to the meeting in June between Trump and Kim in Singapore. “The summit is so dense that they have not received any details that would require North Korea to do anything required by UN resolutions.”
Following the Singapore Summit, Trump said he had achieved a major breakthrough with North Korea and The durable nucleus was on the horizon. The White House has promised Pyongyang that it would lift hard financial sanctions and facilitate financial investments in the country when its nuclear weapon nprogram has been completely closed.
However, since June, there has been little in the way of concrete progress in nuclear disruption. Both countries have made broad agreements in principle, but a detailed and long-term agreement has not yet taken place.
Secretary Mike Pompeo was scheduled to meet top North Korean officials in New York last week, but the North Koreans interrupted. Administration officials say they try to re-plan the meeting.
Analysts say that regular contact and high contact are crucial for hammering specific details about nuclear weapons and setting a schedule for certain actions.
Mr. Trump also wants another meeting with Mr. Kim early next year. The president said Tuesday that reports on undeclared missile sites in no way change his approach, despite the fact that some media characterize the news as a fatal blow to negotiations.
The New York Times said Monday in its report on the CSIS results that North Korea was engaged in a “major fraud” by the president and the rest of the world.
“The story of the New York Times regarding North Korea’s development of missile bases is incorrect,” told Trump Tuesday. “We know fully about the places discussed, nothing new – and nothing goes out of the ordinary. Just more false news. I’ll be the first to let you know if things get bad!”
South Korea’s President Spokesman Kim Eui Kyeom said Seoul was aware of the facilities and underlined the need for faster and more serious negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.
Regional analysts also looked at how the CSIS findings were portrayed in the press. They claimed that the news was spun in order to prove that Pyongyang blatantly ignored agreements with the United States and actively shattered its nuclear and missile programs.
“The United States and North Korea have not yet entered into an agreement that impedes the deployment of missiles of Pyongyang, never against requiring their dismantling. Washington has also not offered the necessary reciprocal measures that could make such a business possible,” said Leon V Sigal, Head of North East Asia’s Cooperative Security Project at the Social Research Council.
“There is more than enough to negotiate and eliminate North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats without exaggerating them and prematurely accusing Pyongyang of evil faith or questioning President Trump’s wisdom for serious attempts at nuclear diplomacy,” wrote Mr Sigal in a comment published Tuesday with 38 North, a North Korean focused website.
The CSIS report on Pyongyang’s missile activity constituted the Sakkanmol facility as a “black work-based missile base for short-distance ballistic missiles”. The Tanktank Research Group, led by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., an analyst of North Korean defense and intelligence services, said that the site was “one of 13 out of approximately 20 undeclared North Korea, a base station for missile operations identified” through satellite imagery and reporting.
However, the report did not discuss negotiations with the United States, or if these sites represented any kind of violations of denuclearization agreements.
“It’s a simple image analysis that was a bit overheated,” says Klingner about CSIS research.
Others say that pressure is now on the Kim regime and failure to produce real results will prove that the regime was never serious.
I am absolutely convinced that the president has been well informed about the Nordic intelligence service, but he will continue to test and give Kim Jong-un a chance to show sincerity to actually dismantle his core program, “said David Maxwell, a retired US Special Forces Colonel and Fellow at the Foundation for Democratic Defense.
“The question remains if Kim Jong-un will let his negotiators come to the table and actually come down to work,” said Maxwell. “Failure to do that is a real indication of his intention.”
Gabriella Muñoz contributed to this report.