North Korea’s foreign minister aims to shore up support from Beijing

North Korea’s foreign minister aims to shore up support from Beijing

Satellite images viewed by CNN showed that the Yeongjeo-dong missile base and a nearby, previously unreported site were not only active but were being upgraded.

Researchers at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey say the evidence of construction at a new facility 7 miles from the Yeongjeo-dong base has not been previously publicly identified, CNN reported.

"Satellite images show that the base remains active".

North Korean efforts to upgrade and expand a long-range missile base come as no surprise to USA intelligence officials, who have always been wary of promises by Pyongyang to denuclearize.

"That's why I think the president thinks that another summit is likely to be productive", added President Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton.

In a statement the Pentagon said: "We watch North Korea very closely but we can not discuss intelligence".

But the North has rejected demands for what it calls "unilateral" disarmament, and has instead sought unspecified reciprocal USA measures in a gradual process.

On Wednesday, the country's state-run Korean Central News Agency called for the complete suspension of South Korean-US military drills in order to build a permanent and strong peace regime.

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U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shake hands during the signing of a document after their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore, June 12, 2018.

In their new report, Lewis and Schmerler said that while closing the test stand would make it harder for the North to design new kinds of missiles, "it would not prevent North Korea from continuing to mass produce and deploy existing types of nuclear-armed missiles that can strike the United States".

Last year, the US led a series of U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions punishing the North for its tests of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

A series of United Nations resolutions require North Korea to give up its ballistic missile program.

In his meeting with Trump, Kim made a vague pledge to "work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" in return for "new" relations and security guarantees from Washington.

Bolton said the U.S. would press ahead with a second meeting shortly after the start of the new year - saying, "January, February" - in the hope of making further progress.

Kim announced the dismantlement of a nuclear facility at another site in Nyongbyon at a summit with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in in September. That includes missiles capable of reaching not just California, but anywhere in the United States. "One such facility is the missile base near Yeongjeo-dong".

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