"Construction on the previously unidentified site has continued even after the Singapore Summit" between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, the U.S. president, in June, said the Institute's Jeffrey Lewis.
The satellite imagery offers evidence that the Yeongjeo-dong missile base and a nearby, previously unreported site remain active and have been continuously upgraded, underscoring the reality of just how far apart Washington and Pyongyang are on the issue of denuclearization despite five months of sporadic talks.
National Security Advisor John Bolton said Tuesday, December 4, that Trump thinks the North Korean strongman hasn't met the commitments he made at the Singapore summit.
"[North Korea] has not yet surrendered a single nuclear weapon, and the number of nuclear weapons is the key measure of the level of North Korean nuclear threat ..."
The researchers said given the work that has been done and the site's location, the bases could be in line to receive North Korea's newest long-range missiles, some of which are capable of carrying nuclear warheads and of reaching the United States.
But the North has rejected demands for what it calls "unilateral" disarmament, and has instead sought unspecified reciprocal U.S. measures in a gradual process.
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Its state-owned newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, said "sanctions regime by adversaries would never work ... self-sufficiency has always been our party's consistent strategy", playing down the impact of the United Nations sanctions regime on North Korea's economy and calling for the sanctions to be lifted.
Bolton said the USA would press ahead with a second meeting shortly after the start of the new year - saying, "January, February" - in the hope of making further progress. Kim pretends to disarm and Trump pretends to believe him.
He suggested the meeting could happen in January or February and that the United States could continue to enforce the economic sanctions it imposed on North Korea over its weapons program. However, Pyongyang has recently also shown frustration with Washington for refusing to meet its concessions.
Kim announced the dismantlement of a nuclear facility at another site in Nyongbyon at a summit with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in in September.
At the time, some experts said the United States could soon accept a North Korean request for jointly declaring the end of the 1950-53 Korean War as part of security assurances to the North. A headquarters area is positioned at the mouth of the valley, the images show. "In front of the pair of drive throughs, there is a concrete pad that was also covered in dirt", according to the analysis by Lewis and Schmerler.
Many of these bases, including the Yeongjeo-dong facility, have been known to outside analysts.