It has been reported that North Korea is nearing the completion of a new missile base, which allows the simultaneous assembly of up to four Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). North Korea seems to be accelerating its sophistication of nuclear weapons and missiles to put more pressure on the U.S. and obtain a bargaining chip for future denuclearization talks as South Korea and the U.S. are looking to gain momentum to resume talks with the North.
Beyond Parallel, a North Korea-specialized website of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), revealed a report on Tuesday (local time) that a new ballistic missile support facility in Sinri near the Pyongyang Sunan International Airport is soon to be completed. Satellite pictures of the report feature three large buildings, spacious underground facilities, and covered railway terminals. In particular, large buildings with lengths ranging from 84 to 122 meters and widths between 42.5 to 42 meters are suspected to be of enough size to simultaneously assemble up to four mid- to long-range ballistic missiles, such as the Hwasong-15. North Korea already has a missile research complex to produce ICBMs in Saneum in the outskirts of Pyongyang.
South Korea and the U.S. seem to be looking for momentum to resume denuclearization talks since North Korean leader Kim Jon Un reappeared in public. "North Korea may be willing to trade some nuclear and missile concessions for sanctions relief and other political and security benefits," John Ratcliffe, nominee for the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), said during a Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, adding that he understands and appreciates diplomatic negotiations with the North.
Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae-in is expected to share messages toward North Korea on the upcoming Sunday, which marks the third anniversary of his presidency, with an emphasis on the resumption of talks.
Kyu-Jin Shin firstname.lastname@example.org