A Washington think tank released a report Monday identifying more than a dozen hidden missile bases North Korea has kept up and running even as President Trump touts his work on denuclearization with Kim Jong Un. The Center for Strategic and International Studies says it suspects North Korea has 20 missile operating bases that are undeclared by the government, and it has located 13 of them. The New York Times says the revelation "suggests a great deception," with Pyongyang quietly continuing its ballistic missile program and even making improvements at these secret sites while publicly declaring its intention to dismantle its main missile launch site. Fox News notes that the report comes as denuclearization talks between the US and North Korea have stalled—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's planned meeting with his North Korean counterpart last week was delayed indefinitely.
"What everybody is worried about is that Trump is going to accept a bad deal—they give us a single test site and dismantle a few other things, and in return they get a peace agreement" that formally ends the Korean War, says the North Korea expert who leads the CSIS' Beyond Parallel program, which released the report. Another expert on nuclear nonproliferation called the program's analysis "excellent" but disagreed with the Times' assessment of the situation, noting on Twitter: "To call this a 'deception' is deeply misleading. Kim Jong Un publicly stated that North Korea would shift to the mass producing nuclear weapons in 2018. These bases and their missiles are well-known, long-standing and have never been offered for dismantlement by the DPRK." Per CNBC, the largest ballistic missiles possibly housed in the bases identified in the report are believed to be able to reach the US. (Read more North Korea stories.)