WSJ reports that North Korea expands key missile-manufacturing plant

Leroy Wright
July 4, 2018

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to head to North Korea soon to continue the denuclearization negotiations.

NBS News reported that US officials think Kim Jong Un has actually increased its production of fuel for nuclear weapons at hidden facilities, despite the leader's landmark summit with the US President last month.

Kim's past declarations have been suspect, so that's when "we'll know if this is a different North Korea than we've seen in the past", he is quoted by Axios.

North Korea continued to develop a key rocket-engine facility in the run-up to Kim Jong Un's summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, according to an independent analysis of satellite imagery.

Despite the Trump administration's apparent optimism about completely dismantling the threat from North Korea, some denuclearization experts are skeptical. The statement did not define how that would be achieved or say when the process would begin or how long it might take.

"There's nobody involved in this discussion with North Korea in the administration who is overburdened by naïveté".

Bolton's remarks Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation" presented an ambitious timeline for North Korea to fulfil that commitment.

North Korea monitoring website 38 North analyzed satellite images last week that showed infrastructure improvements surrounding some of Pyongyang's nuclear facilities, but the authors cautioned the work "should not be seen as having any relationship to North Korea's pledge to denuclearize".

This undated and undisclosed picture released by Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) via KNS shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting 1524 Unit of North Korea's People's army.

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Doubts over North Korea's intentions have deepened amid reports that it is continuing to produce fissile material for weapons.

U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News that Pyongyang is increasing its nuclear fuel production.

Klingner said the USA must learn from past mistakes. The official was not authorized to comment publicly on the matter and requested anonymity. Over the weekend, a US envoy met with the North Koreans at the DMZ.

Patrick Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Centre for a New American Security, said US and South Korea officials had told him Pompeo would be seeking to agree to "a specific denuclearization road map, or at least significant dismantlement steps that could fill in a road map".

"We're continuing to make progress", she added.

US officials also said they were not convinced that North Korea was stopping missile production and testing.

The State Department said Pompeo would arrive Friday on his third visit to Pyongyang in three months.

Bolton also said that the plan had not been put into action yet, which makes sense when you consider the fact that there is no denuclearization agreement between the two countries, they don't seem close to one, and there hasn't been any indication that they even agree what denuclearization means.

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