North Korea hiding missile bases, U.S. researchers say

South Korea

"North Korea's decommissioning of the Sohae satellite launch facility, while gaining much media attention, obscures the military threat to U.S. forces and South Korea from this and other undeclared ballistic missile bases", the CSIS report said.

The existence of the bases contradicts President Donald Trump's assertion that his diplomacy is leading to the elimination of Pyongyang's nuclear and missile program.

"North Korea's decommissioning of the Sohae satellite launch facility, while gaining much media attention, obscures the military threat to U.S. forces and South Korea from this and other undeclared ballistic missile bases", CSIS said.

However, plans for a second meeting could be in jeopardy after leading regime figure Kim Yong-chol failed to turn up for a meeting in NY with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

In August, the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency said it had reason to believe that North Korea was still developing nuclear weapons.

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Thirteen pro-North Korea and progressive civic groups announced Wednesday that they have established a joint committee that will support Kim's visit to Seoul, Chosun Ilbo reported.

The report identified about 15 to 20 bases being operated by the Korean People's Army's Strategic Force, based on information from officials in the government, defense and intelligence, as well as North Korean defectors.

Less than 24 hours before Pompeo was scheduled to travel to NY for those meetings, the State Department announced they had been postponed because of a scheduling conflict.

USA analysts say they have located more than half of an estimated 20 secret North Korean missile-development sites, highlighting the challenge the Trump administration faces in ensuring North Korea complies with any eventual agreement to end its nuclear and missile programs. In September, U.S. officials told NBC News that they had observed North Korean workers moving warheads. From 1990 to 2006, Pyongyang returned hundreds of remains in return for financial compensation in a joint project with USA officials.

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

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Those inspectors still have not been allowed into the country, and the North Koreans have so far not set up meetings with Pompeo's point person, Special Representative Stephen Biegun, who is supposed to lead talks on the working level.

Trump has hailed his June summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as having opened the way to denuclearization of the divided peninsula, but the agreement between the two men was short on specifics and negotiations have made little headway.

"We have given a lot of carrots up until now".

Asked whether the shipment breaches worldwide sanctions on North Korea, the Blue House asserted it does not as the tangerines are merely a reciprocal gift with no strings attached.

U.S. officials have largely opposed these moves to reduce military forces along the tense border, mostly because they are resisting pushes by both Koreas to quickly finalize a peace treaty.

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