North Korea reportedly ramps up nuke production at secret sites

30 June, 2018, 19:13 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Jonathan Ernst  Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited a region near his country's border with China in an apparent attempt to boost economic cooperation with Beijing, Pyongyang's state media reported on Saturday.

The CIA declined to comment on the NBC report. The trip, which hasn't been confirmed by the U.S. State Department, would be his first to the North since the Singapore summit.

The NBC report raises further questions about North Korea's readiness to enter serious negotiations about giving up a weapons program that now threatens the United States, in spite of Trump's enthusiastic portrayal of the summit outcome.

"Work is ongoing to deceive us on the number of facilities, the number of weapons, the number of missiles", one senior USA intelligence official said to NBC News.

"There are lots of things that we know that North Korea has tried to hide from us for a long time", one intelligence official told the network.

The intelligence report may also confirm the theory held by many arms experts: that North Korea possesses a second, undisclosed nuclear enrichment facility.

Experts have long believed that the North likely had multiple secret sites, but the confirmation of it is a new development.

"Everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office", Trump said on Twitter shortly after arriving back in Washington.


Meanwhile Trump at a press conference announced he would order and end to joint military exercises with South Korea, which has been viewed as a major concession on the part of the US. "We are watching closely".

"Together, these two things would imply that North Korea meant to disclose some sites as part of the denuclearization process, while retaining others", he said.

During the US-North Korea summit, the first such meeting between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader, the two men pledged to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

"There is absolutely unequivocal evidence that they are trying to deceive the United States".

Pompeo told a U.S. Senate hearing this week he had seen "modest" backsliding by China, North Korea's sole patron and main trading partner.

"The observed activity appears inconsistent with a North Korean intent to abandon its nuclear weapons programs", said Bruce Klingner, a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst and North Korea expert at the Heritage Foundation.

Trump said last week North Korea was blowing up four of its big test sites and that a process of "total denuclearization. has already started", but officials said there had been no such evidence since the summit.

The report comes days after a North Korea monitor claimed that operations were continuing and that infrastructure works were carried out at the Yongbyon site.

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