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Report: North Korea Is Building New Missiles

ICBM facility 'is not dead, by any stretch of the imagination'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2018 5:21 AM CDT
A TV screen shows a satellite image of North Korea's Sohae launch site, during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Kore, Tuesday, July 24, 2018.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
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(Newser) – Satellite images show that North Korea is behaving like a country working hard on its missile program, not a country preparing to disarm, the Washington Post reports, citing "officials familiar with the intelligence." The officials say the evidence shows that North Korea is working on at least one liquid-fueled long-range ICBM at the plant that made the country's first missile capable of reaching the US. Melissa Hanham, a North Korea expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, tells the BBC that satellite images show there has been "regular traffic in and out of the building" at the Sanumdong facility—and the pattern didn't change throughout peace talks in Singapore and the DMZ.

Jeffrey Lewis at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies tells the Post that the activity shows the facility "is not dead, by any stretch of the imagination." There are also doubts about Pyongyang's commitment to denuclearization, though analysts note that Kim Jong Un never promised President Trump that he would immediately halt his nuclear and missile programs. "We have this backward. North Korea is not negotiating to give up their nuclear weapons," Lewis says. "They are negotiating for recognition of their nuclear weapons. They’re willing to put up with certain limits, like no nuclear testing and no ICBM testing. What they’re offering is: They keep the bomb, but they stop talking about it." (North Korea recently returned the remains of dozens of Americans killed in the Korean War.)

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