Satellite imagery has been captured, indicating that North Korea is developing nuclear warheads in Wollo-ri, a village near Pyongyang. Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, a professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, said Wednesday the Wollo-ri village is believed to be linked with North Korea’s nuclear program, adding the threat from the North has become much greater.
The Wollo-ri facility shows that the North has never stopped the effort to develop the technology to put warheads on its ICBMs despite the continued denuclearization talks with the U.S. The facility is only 14 kilometers away from the ICBM assembly factory in Sinri and 13 kilometers away from the uranium-enrichment facility in Kangson. If the Wollo-ri village turns out to be capable of producing nuclear warheads, the North would have an all-around nuclear facility where it can produce highly enriched uranium, build warheads, and put them on ICBMs.
Pyongyang’s building an ICBM tipped with warheads to target the mainland U.S. has been defined as the final redline by U.S. President Donald Trump. However, if the North achieves miniaturization and masters reentry technology, the threat from North Korea’s warheads-armed ICBMs would take to a new height. This will turn Pyongyang’s bombast to attack the mainland U.S. with nuclear missiles unto a real menace toppling global security order.
While the North’s nuclear threats are growing ever more sophisticated, the South Korean government is showing little commitment or capacity to cope with them. South Korea’s newly appointed diplomatic leadership is reportedly preparing a “small deal+ α” as settlement for the denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang, under the illusion that dismantling the Yongbyon base and parts of other facilities will bring about denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Given that the communist regime is practically running a “nuclear belt” near the capital city of Pyongyang, however, exploding facilities in Yongbyon would be little more than a wasteful firework.
North Korea is bent on building nuclear weapons, turning a blind eye to the proposal for dialogues put forward by Seoul and Washington, as doing so can help increase their leverage against President Trump, who is running for re-election in November. Pyongyang will never stop until it completes the development of a nuclear missile. It is imperative that Seoul should stop playing the middleman and make North Korea’s complete denuclearization its top priority in order to preempt Pyongyang’s gambit. In spite of the glaring evidence, however, some South Korean officials dismiss it merely as a support facility that has nothing to do with nuclear weapons; such naivety will only fuel anxiety for the citizens in Seoul.