US Intelligence: North Korea Is Continuing to Produce ICBMs

Posted August 02, 2018

More than 50 boxes handed over by North Korea to the United States last week appear to hold human remains from the 1950-1953 Korean War and are likely American, according to an initial forensic analysis, a USA official said on Wednesday.

New indicators, including satellite images, show that North Korea could be in the midst of building new missiles, the Washington Post reported Monday, citing officials familiar with the intelligence.

The Sanumdong factory has produced two of North Korea's ICBMs, including the powerful Hwasong-15, the first with a proven range that could allow it to strike the U.S. East Coast.

North Korea handed over 55 boxes of the remains last week as part of agreements reached during a historic June summit between its leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

The State Department said the administration still believes Mr. Kim was honest in his commitment to move toward abandoning his country's nuclear weapons when he met in early June with Mr. Trump in Singapore.

President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

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But Narang said the most interesting revelation was not that the North was continuing to build its nuclear forces, but rather the apparent strategy of deception.

Just last week, satellite images emerged that appeared to show North Korea dismantling a key Sohae satellite launching station.

However, John Byrd, a U.S. Department of Defense forensic anthropologist told reporters at the Osan air base in South Korea that there was "no reason to doubt" that the boxes of remains "do relate to Korean War losses", and that at least some are likely American.

Critics caution the move is largely symbolic, since the facility can easily be rebuilt. And it is foolish to expect that they would do so - at the outset of talks, he said.

In late June, U.S. officials told U.S. media outlets that intelligence agencies believed North Korea had increased production of fuel for nuclear weapons and that it did not intend to fully give up its nuclear arsenal.

"Pressure on the regime is clearly being felt", Pompeo said.

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Another, unnamed State Department official was also quoted as saying that the USA remains "concerned" by North Korea's attempts to acquire refined petroleum via ship-to-ship transfers. "But even if they are, you still have a nuclear deterrent, so it would still be a huge risk for the try to attack".

But the actual details of the process, including how and when the North's nuclear program is to be dismantled, have yet to be worked out.

"I'm afraid that at this point, the United States, the Trump Administration is being taken for a ride", said Sen.

The signs of new activity at the factory came as generals from the rival Koreas met at their shared border for talks meant to ease a decades-long military standoff, according to Seoul officials.

"We have this backward". They're willing to put up with certain limits, like no nuclear testing and no ICBM testing.

During the previous ARF session hosted by the Philippines, they had no formal talks other than a minutes-long encounter.

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