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North Korea’s missile program continues after Trump-Kim Jong Un summit

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trump kim summit
President
Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un
during their first meeting at the Capella resort on Sentosa
Island, in Singapore, June 12, 2018.

Evan Vucci/AP

  • North Korea is reportedly continuing to build missiles
    at a research facility despite its leader’s pledge to work
    toward “peace and prosperity” on the Korean Peninsula, The
    Washington Post reported on Monday night.
  • US intelligence officials familiar Pyongyang’s
    operations say that new evidence, including recent satellite
    photos, suggest the regime is producing at least one
    liquid-fueled ICBM at a research facility.
  • The factory reportedly produced two ICBMs, including
    the Hwasong-15 — a missile capable of reaching the US East
    Coast.

North Korea’s missile program continues at a research facility
outside the country’s capital of Pyongyang, despite a pledge its
leader Kim Jong Un made in June that he would work toward a
“peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula,”
The Washington Post reported
on Monday night.

Kim made that “peace and prosperity” pledge in June during a
summit with President Donald Trump.

US intelligence officials familiar with Pyongyang’s operations
say that new evidence, including recent satellite photos,
suggests that the regime is producing at least one liquid-fueled
ICBM at the Sanumdong research facility, near Pyongyang.

“We see them going to work, just as before,” a US official told
The Post.

The factory in question reportedly produced two ICBMs, including
the Hwasong-15 — a missile capable
of reaching the US eastern seaboard.

News of the missile production comes amid the renewed scrutiny
surrounding the Trump-Kim summit which took place in Singapore on
June 12. After the meeting, the two leaders signed an agreement
to “[commit] to work toward complete denuclearization of
the Korean Peninsula.”

Immediately after meeting with Kim, Trump assured the world that
“there is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”

“Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive
experience,” Trump said in a tweet. “North Korea has great
potential for the future!”


kim jong un mike pompeo north korea
North
Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with US Secretary of State
Mike Pompeo in Pyongyang, North Korea, May 9,
2018.

North Korea’s Korean Central
News Agency/Reuters


But based on a report in June, US intelligence officials
have already cited “unequivocal evidence”
that North Korea is “trying to deceive” the US with secret sites
and increasing production of enriched uranium.

Senior North Korean officials have also discussed trying to
deceive the US on its weapons program, according to The Post’s
latest report. In addition to obfuscating its number of nuclear
warheads and missiles, US intelligence reportedly indicated that
the regime is trying to hide the type and numbers of its
facilities, and prevent international inspectors from taking a
look at their developments.

Foreign-policy experts have remained skeptical about North
Korea’s intentions. Pyongyang has indicated its willingness to
make concessions, in part by dismantling key elements of a
satellite-launching station that may have played a role in its
weapons program. But many believe
those moves were largely symbolic
.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testified last week that
Pyongyang is still producing fissile material, but declined to
say publicly whether it was making progress on the nuclear front.

“Fear not, Senator,” Pompeo said, responding to a question on
whether Kim had deceived the US. “We have not been taken for a
ride.”

Pompeo assured lawmakers that the US was working toward finding a
solution without easing its sanctions against North Korea, but
also admitted during his testimony that it was “continuing to
create fissile material.”

“Pressure on the regime is clearly being felt,” Pompeo said. “We
have lots of work to do. But unlike previous administration,
Senator, we have no intention of allowing the UN sanctions, the
world’s sanctions that we led the charge to have put in place, to
allowing those sanctions to either be lifted or not enforced.”

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