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North Korea is expanding missile base with eye toward United States, experts warn


"Construction on the previously unidentified site has continued even after the Singapore Summit" between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, the United States president, in June, said the Institute's Jeffrey Lewis.

The images appear to show that Yeongjeo-dong missile base and another, previously undiscovered, nearby site remain active.

The photographs, commissioned by the American television news broadcaster CNN, show continued activity at Yeongjeo-dong long-range missile base and the establishment of a new facility seven miles away.

President Trump, who met with Kim during a summit in Singapore in June, supports Kim traveling to South Korea and thinks it could pave the way for another summit after the first of the year.

"Whatever Kim says about his desire for denuclearization, North Korea continues to produce and deploy nuclear armed missiles", he added, The Telegraph reported.

North Korea has clandestinely expanded one of its main long-range missile development bases during recent months, according to new reports based on satellite imagery collected during October and November.

"We watch North Korea very closely", Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Chris Logan told CNN.

In August, a United Nations watchdog warned that North Korea was still working on developing its nuclear arsenal.

Following his June summit in Singapore with Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, Trump claimed that there was "no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea".

Kim sharply raised tensions with nuclear and missile tests last year, but suddenly reached out to South Korea and the United States this year with a vague nuclear disarmament pledge.

Last month, images revealed that North Korea had been working to improve 16 hidden ballistic missile bases, despite halting moves on dismantling a major site in order to appease the US. On Saturday, he told reporters that his next meeting with Kim was likely to happen in January or February.

One such facility is the missile base near Yeongjeo-dong, a site that has long concerned USA and South Korean officials and the subject of the analysis of the new images released Wednesday.

At the time, some experts said the United States could soon accept a North Korean request for a joint declaration of the end of the 1950-53 Korean War as part of security assurances to the North.

"Up through the valley there are a pair of hardened "drive-through" shelters that were covered with soil and had trees planted on them to disguise them".

Researchers were able to locate five entrances to underground tunnels they said may be used to store missiles. "One such facility is the missile base near Yeongjeo-dong".