Researchers have discovered as many as 20 undisclosed missile sites in North Korea, including a secret base that houses the headquarters of the rogue regime’s Strategic Rocket Forces, according to a new report.
A report by Beyond Parallel, a project sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a defense think tank, identified the existence of the Sino-ri Missile Operating Base about 130 miles north of the DMZ, NBC News reported.
The base has played a key role in developing ballistic missiles that can reach South Korea, Japan and Guam, according to Beyond Parallel’s researchers, who estimate that the North has 19 other sites where ballistic missiles, the main delivery mechanism for nuclear warheads, are being developed.
The report, which was released Monday, comes seven months after President Trump declared that the nuclear threat from Pyongyang had been eliminated – and three days after an announcement that he “looks forward” to a second meeting with Chairman Jim Jong Un next month.
“The North Koreans are not going to negotiate over things they don’t disclose,” said Victor Cha, one of the report’s authors. “It looks like they’re playing a game. They’re still going to have all this operational capability,” even if they destroy their disclosed nuclear facilities.
Satellite images of the base – which covers about 7 square miles –from Dec. 27 show an entrance to an underground bunker, reinforced shelters and a headquarters area, according to the researchers.
Two nearby facilities — the Sobaek-su Academy, a ballistic missile school, and Myodu-san training area – support Sino-ri.
The academy trains Strategic Rocket Forces officers and may also conduct research on “ballistic missile design and operation,” according to the report.
The Myodu-san training area, which is located less than a mile from the academy, may serve as the training facility for both the Sino-ri missile base and the school.
The Trump administration tapped Cha, a former National Security Council official, as ambassador to South Korea, but his nomination was withdrawn due to policy disagreements.
On Sunday, Trump tweeted about a second summit with Kim, saying he was “looking forward to meeting with Chairman Kim at the end of February!”
He added: “The Media is not giving us credit for the tremendous progress we have made with North Korea. Think of where we were at the end of the Obama Administration compared to now.”