Trump says North Korean missile sites are 'nothing new'


U.S. President Donald Trump has dismissed a news report on North Korea's hidden missile bases as "inaccurate", amid growing skepticism over Pyongyang's willingness to follow through on its denuclearization commitment.

Kim Eui-kyeom, a spokesman for the presidential Blue House in Seoul, said South Korean and United States intelligence officials had been "closely watching" the sites using military satellites and that the CSIS report contained "nothing new".

"I will be the first to let you know if things go bad!" he wrote. Sigal noted that the original report even mentioned that "the Sakkanmol Missile Operating Base and 15 others have always been observed by US intelligence, 13 of them by Bermudez himself".

The 13 undeclared North Korean missile operating bases were identified Monday by Beyond Parallel, a program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, or CSIS.

Beyond Parallel has located 13 of what it calls an estimated 20 "undeclared" North Korean missile bases. Trump expressed confidence in Kim's denuclearization promises, even amid skepticism in Washington.

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Shortly after the C-S-I-S report on North Korean missile bases was published, the South Korean presidential office of Cheongwadae also said there's nothing new in it.

A spokesman for South Korea's Blue House said in a statement Seoul's military satellites had been closely monitoring the sites and noted Pyongyang had never promised to declare the existence of missile bases or to shut them down.

Asked about the report, Trump's national security adviser John Bolton told reporters in Singapore on November 13 that Trump "has given North Korea an incredible opportunity to walk through a door to a different future if they denuclearize ... but they still need to do that". "It has never signed any agreement, any negotiation that makes shutting down missile bases mandatory". "The summit agreements are so terse that they haven't gotten to any details which would require North Korea to do any of the things it's required to do under the United Nations resolutions".

"What everybody is anxious about is that Trump is going to accept a bad deal - they give us a single test site and dismantle a few other things, and in return they get a peace agreement that formally ends the Korean War". "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".

In April, ahead of his meeting with Trump, Kim told a gathering of ruling party leadership the nuclear arsenal represented a "great victory" and announced there was no need for further tests of nuclear weapons or ballistic missiles. The cancellation, which the US ascribed to scheduling issues, followed threats from North Korean officials to resume nuclear and missile testing unless USA sanctions are lifted.

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"I assume the meeting was delayed because both sides realized that significant progress is not possible at this time, due to the major differences between the US and [North Korea] on denuclearization", said Samore.

He added that he's not calling for Trump to use the military option, but he believes the president and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo should "ratchet up that pressure again".

Despite this, President Trump has remained optimistic he will meet with Kim Jong Un for a second summit.

While US sanctions on North Korea remain in place, enforcement by traditional trading partners China and Russian Federation has relaxed since the Singapore summit, US officials have acknowledged.

In past tweets, he's also said that the Iran nuclear threat is over.

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