A story emerged Monday suggesting that North Korea was violating the spirit of promises to reduce its nuclear arsenal. Not so, says President Trump. "The story in the New York Times concerning North Korea developing missile bases is inaccurate," he tweeted. "We fully know about the sites being discussed, nothing new - and nothing happening out of the normal. Just more Fake News. I will be the first to let you know if things go bad!" The Times story he's referring to was based on a new study by Center for Strategic and International Studies, whose researchers say they have found more than a dozen secret ballistic missile bases in North Korea. The newspaper acknowledges, however, that US intelligence agencies have long known about this network.
Here is how the Times frames the issue: "The satellite images suggest that the North has been engaged in a great deception: It has offered to dismantle a major launching site—a step it began, then halted—while continuing to make improvements at more than a dozen others that would bolster launches of conventional and nuclear warheads." South Korea objected to this characterization even before Trump did, also using the phrase "nothing new." A spokesman for President Moon Jae-in adds: “North Korea has never promised to dismantle its missile bases, nor has it ever joined any treaty that obligates it to dismantle them. So calling this a ‘deception’ is not appropriate." That didn't stop Democratic Sen. Ed Markey, who sits on the Foreign Relations panel, from asserting that Trump was "getting played by Kim Jong Un," per Bloomberg. (Read more North Korea stories.)