More undeclared North Korean missile sites

North Korea has been operating at least 20 missile sites not reported — including one that serves as the headquarters for the military unit in charge of ballistic missiles, a new report details, echoed by Tom Squitieri on TMN.

More undeclared North Korean missile sites
Overview of the Sino-ri missile operating base, December 27, 2018 (Picture source: European Space Agency/Photo via CSIS)

The new undeclared sites were disclosed in a report released Monday by Beyond Parallel, a research project of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington, D.C. defense-focused think tank, Tom Squitieri reports. Pentagon officials had no comment on the report and referred questions to the White House.

The report focused on the Sino-ri base, located about 140 miles north of the DMZ that separates the two Koreas. “The Sino-ri missile operating base and the Nodong missiles deployed at this location fit into North Korea’s presumed nuclear military strategy by providing an operational-level nuclear or conventional first strike capability against targets located both throughout the Korean Peninsula and in most of Japan,” the report said. “The base continues to be defended against preemptive attack by nearby anti-aircraft artillery and surface-to-air positions.”

The base was a location for one of the initial deployments of Scud missiles and then later the Nofong medium range ballistic missile, the report said. “It may have also played a role in the development of the newest Pukkuksong-2 (KN-15) ballistic missile first tested or unveiled on February 12, 2017, shortly after Donald Trump’s inauguration as president,” the report said.
“The base has often also fulfilled broader missions as both an operational test and development, and training facility for Korean People’s Army (KPA)’s Strategic Force. Beyond Parallel analysis has found that the missile operating base is complemented by two nearby Strategic Force facilities—the Sobaek-su Academy and Myodu-san training area,” the report said. The missiles could hit South Korea, Japan and Guam, among other targets, analysts have previously said.

Since Sino-ri facility has not been declared, it would not be part of any negotiations regarding the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, the authors of the report argued. Nor would any other undeclared sites, even if they were not still operational, they said. “North Korean missile operating bases would presumably have to be subject to declaration, verification, and dismantlement in any final and fully verifiable denuclearization deal,” the report said.

The report said the Sino-ri facility is unique among other known facilities since photos show it spreads through a “shallow valley and rolling hills” unlike other known North Korean ballistic missile operating bases, “which are nestled within narrow and steep mountain valleys.”


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