World

North Korea 'making new missiles' despite U.S. pledge

North Korea 'making new missiles' despite U.S. pledge

At the United Nations, the United States asked a UN sanctions committee to halt all deliveries of refined oil products to North Korea after accusing Pyongyang of using illegal imports to exceed a cap on permissible deliveries.

The construction of new missiles comes after US President Donald Trump declared the isolated state was "no longer a nuclear threat" following a historic summit last month.

"The remains received from North Korea are being handled with the utmost care and respect by professional historians, forensic scientists, uniformed personnel and government officials", the USA -led U.N. Command said in a statement.

At least one-possibly as many as two-Hwasong-15/KN22 intercontinental-range ballistic missiles are being manufactured at the site known as the Sanum-dong Research Center, outside the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, sources confirmed to The Diplomat.

As North Korea's vague, timetable-free promises to one day denuclearize the Korean peninsula have melted away, President Trump has emphasized his shrewd bargaining for the remains of American soldiers killed in the Korean War.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption There are thought to be around 5,300 remains of U.S. soldiers in North Korea Does North Korea have any others collected?

North Korea had told USA officials a couple of times in recent years that it had about 200 sets of US war remains, although none was "already identified".

"We see them going to work, just as before", said one USA official, who, like the others, spoke on the condition of anonymity in discussing sensitive intelligence.

Ever since the summit in Singapore, President Trump and his administration have touted the agreement he signed with Kim - even though it didn't spell out any kind of specific framework or plan for Korean Peninsula's disarmament. Some have regarded that as purely symbolic, noting it could easily be rebuilt.

Independent experts came to the same conclusion.

This commercial satellite image shows North Korea's Sanumdong missile assembly facility south of Pyongyang on July 7. The Monterey, California, nonprofit group analyzed commercial photos obtained from the satellite imagery firm Planet.

"We see them going to work, just as before", one U.S. official told the newspaper. "This is a facility where they build ICBMs and space-launch vehicles".

"There is no reason to doubt that they do relate to Korean War losses", John Byrd, director of analysis for the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), told reporters at Osan air base in South Korea, just before the remains were due to be flown to Hawaii for further analysis and identification.

The two Koreas held general-grade military talks Tuesday at the border truce village of Panmunjom to discuss measures to enforce the military part of their April summit agreement.

It was not the first time USA intelligence clashed with the president's optimism. The complex has a single, guarded entrance and features high-rise residential towers apparently used by workers. It accused U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of making a "gangster-like" demand for denuclearization during his visit to Pyongyang earlier this month, while rejecting its wish to discuss declaring an end to the conflict. If so, North Korea's stockpile of enriched uranium could be substantially higher than is commonly believed.

"We are doing well in North Korea, although I happen to think that we're doing so well with China that China maybe is getting in our way", Trump said, noting that Kim has continued to refrain from launching missiles.

Reports had indicated that North Korea was upgrading its only official nuclear enrichment site, and was stepping up enrichment at other secret sites.


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