According to US intelligence agencies quoted by the Washington Post, new satellite images show that at least one intercontinental missile is being manufactured.
North Korea is alleged to have begun building at least one, possibly two Hwasong-15 missiles. It is an intercontinental missile with a range of 13,000 km, capable of hitting the east coast of the United States. Work would be underway at the Sanumbdong plant near the North Korean capital Pyongyang. This is what the US secret service thinks, reports the Washington Post in a survey published Monday.
The American daily is based on new satellite images of Sanumdong. They reveal numerous comings and goings of containers and trucks around the factory. Curiously, says the newspaper, a snapshot shows a bright red trailer parked near a loading area that “looks identical” to those used by North Koreans to convey their ICBM (intercontinental missile).
This new information, warn experts interviewed by the Washington Post, does not necessarily mean that North Korea is increasing its nuclear capabilities. “But it shows that work on advanced armaments is continuing,” writes the paper.
Already broken commitments?
North Korea “is no longer a nuclear threat,” had tweeted US President Donald Trump a few weeks ago. It was June 13, a few hours after a historic meeting in Singapore between the US leader and his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong-un.
“There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea. […] North Korea has great potential for the future! ”
At the summit, the two countries pledged to work for a “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula”. But without a fixed timetable, nor precise modalities. For many senior US officials and experts quoted by the Washington Post, it is not surprising that Pyongyang is keeping its weapons sites alive. Because Kim Jong-un made no promise in this regard.
A few days ago, the head of the American diplomacy, Mike Pompeo, had moreover admitted that Pyongyang continued to produce nuclear materials. He was auditioned in the US Congress.
An advance, many suspicions
North Koreans “have never agreed to abandon their nuclear program,” said Ken Cause, a specialist in the communist republic at the Naval Analysis Center, for whom it would be futile to imagine disarmament at the very beginning of the negotiations. For them, the analyst believes, the nuclear program is “a deterrent against the regime changes made by the United States. ”
The US secret service also suspects North Korea of wanting to trick them. The regime would seek to hide the real extent of its arsenal. One of the options that North Koreans would work on would be to assert that they have completely denuclearized, rendering 20 warheads and retaining dozens more.
The only step forward for disarmament is that the North Korean regime has begun dismantling infrastructure in Sohae, the main satellite launching base. A promise made to Donald Trump at the summit. But “largely symbolic,” according to the newspaper.