U.S. Spy Agencies Say North Korea is Building New Missiles

Charlene Craig
July 31, 2018

United States spy agencies have detected signs of North Korea building new intercontinental ballistic missiles at a plant near Pyongyang, the Washington Post reported Monday.

After the first meeting between sitting leaders from the two countries, the two men pledged to work towards denuclearisation. Trump made his remarks after the North Korea-focused 38 North website released recent satellite imagery that seems to show dismantlement underway at Sohae.

But Mr Trump was criticised at home for making concessions without securing any firm commitment from Mr Kim to end the nuclear and missile programmes. The North Koreans aren't puttering around with new missiles for their health.

What do the latest reports say?

USA intelligence agencies indicate North Korea is building new missiles, officials told The Washington Post on Monday, weeks after President TrumpDonald John TrumpYemeni-American man kills himself after family blocked from entering United States by Trump admin Dershowitz on MSNBC panel: "Don't you dare accuse me" of defending Trump Bannon slams Kochs: "What they have to do is shut up and get with the program" MORE declared the nation is "no longer a Nuclear Treat".

The Sanumdong factory had produced two of North Korea's ICBMs including the Hwasong-15, which is theoretically capable of reaching the US East Coast.

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However, a USA official told news agency Reuters that a liquid-fuelled ICBM didn't "pose almost the threat that a solid-fuelled one would because they take so long to fuel".

What are experts saying about this?

"We see them going to work, just as before", one USA official told the paper.

The U.S., he added, has "to know what they have before talking about caps and arms control".

The image also appears to show that the test stand superstructure has been completely dismantled and that the base is being removed.

The smiles and handshakes of that Singapore summit were soured by subsequent events.

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North Korea "is in the room as a member of the ASEAN regional forum among these 27 countries, so there will be discussions that are inclusive of North Korea", a senior State Department official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Ministers from the two Koreas agreed in April to push for a unified delegation from both countries to parade together in the opening ceremony at the Asian Games, to be staged in August and September, amid signs of easing tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.

During a historic summit with Trump in June, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un vowed to "work toward" the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Kim committed in a broad summit statement to work toward denuclearization, but Pyongyang has offered no details as to how it might go about that and subsequent talks have not gone smoothly.

However, CNN also reported last week that, according to an official with close knowledge of North Korea's position on the matter, continued negotiations between the United States and North Korea hinge on Washington's willingness to make a "bold move" and agree to a peace treaty with Pyongyang.

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No policy changes came out of the summit, Mattis said on Friday, adding he had also not been given new direction on Syria. On Friday afternoon, Trump will convene a National Security Council meeting devoted to the issue of election security.

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