Satellite images reveal hidden North Korean missile bases

South Korea

South Korea

North Korea has halted missile flight tests, which haven't taken place in almost a year, but American intelligence officials say production has continued for nuclear material, new weapons and missiles that can be launched from secret bases.

Joseph Bermudez, Victor Cha and Lisa Collins of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies used satellite imagery and interviews with North Korean defectors and government officials to identify 13 missile bases. "Any missile at these bases can take a nuclear warhead". "Kim Jong Un only committed voluntarily to halt long-range missile tests".

In July, The Washington Post said USA intelligence agencies have found that North Korea is building new missiles, based on satellite photographs taken at the time and other new evidence.

Today, a new report from a Washington think-tank identified more than a dozen hidden bases in North Korea that could be used to disperse mobile launchers for ballistic missiles in the event of a conflict.

North Korea has said it has closed its Punggye-ri nuclear testing site and the Sohae missile engine test facility.

Cheong Wa Dae sent a gift of 200 tons of tangerines to North Korea, in return for the North's mushrooms in September following the summit between the two leaders in the North's capital city of Pyongyang, the presidential office said Sunday.

Recently, North Korea has demanded that the United States end its tough economic sanctions now that it is negotiating with Trump over its nuclear program.

And, ironically, according to the Times, the sanctions that Trump touts are harming North Korea because Pyongyang has resumed trade with Russian Federation and China based largely on its better ties with the USA and its stated commitment to eventual denuclearization.

Yet pressure is building to ease worldwide sanctions put in place a year ago, a move the Trump administration is struggling to resist.

Oil prices rise by more than 1% after Saudi announcement
The country is targeting production capacity of 5m bpd in 2019, with average exports expected to reach around 3.8m bpd. Any formal decision on production cuts by Opec would likely come at its next meeting, in Vienna on 6 December.

Last week, North Korea called off a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in NY, and state media said on Monday the resumption of some small-scale military drills by South Korea and the United States violated a recent agreement aimed at lowering tensions on the Korean peninsula.

"What North Korea has offered is the beginning of a process that might - might - someday lead to an outcome like that".

Kim and US President Donald Trump also held a historic summit in June in Singapore and signed a vaguely worded deal on denuclearization, but little progress has been made since then, with the two countries sparring over the exact meaning of the agreement.

Trump, in a free-wheeling news conference after midterm elections, said he was willing eventually to ease the pressure on North Korea.

South Korea has around 60 such posts along the rest of the border while the North has about 160, Yonhap said. "But we are very happy how it is going with North Korea", Trump said.

According to the text message sent by presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom to reporters, South Korean cargo planes carrying the fruit left the resort island of Jeju for Pyongyang earlier in the day. "Despite all the summitry, North Korea is just as unsafe today as it was a year ago".

At the news conference, Trump pointed out that North Korea has not tested further missiles amid the talks.

"We made more progress in that four or five months (since the summit) than they have made in 70 years", he said, referring to previous U.S. leaders.

Many North Korea watchers doubt that the regime will ever truly give up nuclear weapons, to which three generations of the Kim dynasty have generously devoted the country's scarce resources.

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