State Dept: North Korea Has Committed to Denuclearization

A Korean veterans remembrance ceremony in 2017

A Korean veterans remembrance ceremony in 2017

The Washington Post reported Monday that U.S. intelligence agencies have obtained evidence indicating that North Korea is continuing to build long-range missiles.

United States spy agencies said new evidence, including satellite photos, have revealed the country is creating a liquid-fueled ICBM at a research facility outside Pyongyang, according to The Washington Post. The newly obtained evidence points to ongoing work on at least one Hwasong-15 at the Sanumdong plant, according to imagery collected by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in recent weeks.

Intelligence officials told the Post that trucks and shipping containers can be seen at the facility.

Asked about the report, the Pentagon declined to comment.

The Post cited "intelligence gathered by USA agencies" as evidence that North Korean officials planned to try to fool the U.S.by making a show out of destroying 20 nuclear warheads while they kept dozens.

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met in Singapore on June 12 and signed an agreement in which North Korea committed to "complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula" without specifying a timeline.

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.

Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Puan Maharani visited North Korea on Tuesday to deliver a personal invitation from President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to attend the Asian Games 2018 hosted by Indonesia.

Their schemes include potentially claiming that they have completely denuclearized by declaring and disposing of 20 warheads while keeping dozens more, the Post wrote.

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On Wednesday, U.S. Consul General Angela Kerwin said Wednesday that no money was paid to North Korea for the remains.

The Trump administration has hailed the repatriation as a significant goodwill gesture even as efforts toward persuading the North to abandon its nuclear weapons have faltered. "So between this and Kangson, we are seeing an expanded and improved nuclear and missile force".

The repatriation is a breakthrough in a long-stalled United States effort to obtain war remains from North Korea. "This is a facility where they build ICBMs and space-launch vehicles". National anthems of the United States and South Korea were played, and the caskets were given a 21-gun salute by USA riflemen.

The North demonstrated sharp progress in its program previous year when it test-fired numerous missiles and conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test.

"But I would caution. that it's not necessarily the case that the dog tag goes with the remains.in the box", he added, underscoring the challenges of identifying the recovered remains.

Still, Joel Wit, a former State Department negotiator and founder of North Korea-watching website 38 North, said that the North's moves were, historically, par for the course.

North Korea got respect, trade, and weapons, and now they appear to be going on as if Singapore put no restrictions on them.

That was the case with USA negotiations with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and more recently with Iran, "which continued to build more centrifuges capable of producing nuclear material even as it negotiated with the United States to limit those capabilities", Mr Wit said.

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