New satellite images reveal North Korea is expanding key missile base


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has cleared three days later this month to make a historic first visit to Seoul to discuss ridding the Korea peninsula of nuclear weapons, according to a report Wednesday.

But National Security Adviser John Bolton said Tuesday that there should be another summit with Kim.

However, ongoing activity at the sites feeds into United States criticisms that North Korea is now dragging its heels over the denuclearization process. "That's why I think the President thinks that another summit is likely to be productive".

Last year, the USA led a series of U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions punishing the North for its tests of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

North Korean efforts to upgrade and expand a long-range missile base come as no surprise to US intelligence officials, who have always been wary of promises by Pyongyang to denuclearize.

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"They have not lived up to the commitments so far", Bolton said.

Hwang Pyong So, one of Kim Jong Un's top aides, was not present at the funeral, but a South Korean government official who spoke to South Korean paper Segye Ilbo said his absence does not hold "major significance".

But while Trump maintains that Kim committed to fully denuclearize during their summit in Singapore this summer, the truth is that the meeting only yielded a vaguely worded agreement, in which the two leaders pledged to build a "lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula" and to "work toward complete denuclearization" of the peninsula.

Since the Singapore meeting, talks between North Korea and the United States have stalled over how to eradicate the North's nuclear weapons program. There have been five summit meetings between the leaders of the Koreas, three of them between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, but they all happened either in Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, or the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom.

"North Korea and the U.S. appear to be making headway", a high-ranking South Korean government source told the Hankyoreh paper. But Lewis and Schmerler said that in recent years North Korea had significantly expanded what appeared to be another missile base in Hoejung-ni. "The layout of the new buildings bears a significant resemblance to the older headquarters area at Yeongjeo-dong".