Sunday, 21 October, 2018

N Korea 'making missiles' despite United States thaw

Trump administration: North Korea missile moves don't undermine peace push North Korea: 'Our Society Is the Best in the World'
Andrew Cummings | 02 August, 2018, 04:41

This week, US spy satellites reportedly detected renewed activity at the North Korean factory that produced the country's first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States.

Newly obtained evidence, including satellite photos taken in recent weeks, indicates that work is underway on at least one and possibly two liquid-fueled ICBMs at a large research facility in Sanumdong, on the outskirts of Pyongyang, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe classified intelligence.

Since then, the US has halted major joint military exercises that the North has deemed "provocative", but there have been no signs that North Korea is dismantling weapons.

"We see them going to work, just as before", one United States official said.

A US military aircraft left North Korea last week carrying 55 boxes handed over by Kim Jong Un's regime that are believed to contain the remains of USA service members.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un also vowed during his summit with US President Donald Trump last month to work towards denuclearisation, but there has not been a concrete agreement to accomplish that goal.

Friday's transfer of the remains coincided with the 65th anniversary of the 1953 armistice that ended fighting between North Korean and Chinese forces and South Korean and US -led forces under the U.N. Command.

North Korean Lieutenant General An Ik San walks with South Korean Major General Kim Do-gyun at the Peace House of the border village of Panmunjom, South Korea, July 31, 2018.

Kim Jong Un committed to try to work toward the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" during the summit in Singapore, but he agreed to no specific measures or timelines.

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Many experts cautioned that the situation was still extremely unsafe, as Kim only signed a vague mutual commitment to denuclearize the Korean peninsula - a promise North Korean leaders have made and broken multiple times.

Initial forensic analysis suggested the remains were likely to be of American servicemen, the USA military said.

The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday it expects Pyongyang to keep its commitment made at the June summit to give up its nuclear arms which it had developed for years in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions.

North Korea got respect, trade, and weapons, and now they appear to be going on as if Singapore put no restrictions on them.

He declined to say whether Pyongyang is constructing new missiles.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and the commander of U.S. forces in Asia, Adm. Phil Davidson, were expected to speak at a ceremony marking the arrival of the remains on U.S. soil and the beginning of a long process to identify the bones.

Since then, the North has made few tangible moves that would signal it intends to relinquish its nuclear weapons - with the exception of the ongoing dismantlement of the Sohae missile engine test-stand, which some experts say is both unneeded by the regime and reversible.

The North demonstrated sharp progress in its program a year ago when it test-fired numerous missiles and conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test. Experts say the North likely wants a declaration of the end of the Korean War as part of US security assurances. Trump thanked Kim for the return.

Cutting off oil and fuel to the North would require enforcement primarily by China, which supplies most of North Korea's energy needs, but also by Russian Federation, which delivers some oil to Pyongyang. -North Korea joint efforts resulted in the recovery of 229 containers of remains.

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