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North Korea Expands Long-Range Missile Base, Analysts Say

Felex Sanders

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(Pyongyang is also still producing nuclear weapons, according to researchers studying satellite images, casting a new shadow over disarmament talks)
By Andrew Jeong
Dec. 6, 2018 2:12 a.m. ET
https://www.wsj.com/articles/north-korea-expands-long-range-missile-base-analysts-say-1544080319

My question is whatever happened to Trump's claim that NK is falling into line and that America is safe now?

SEOUL—North Korea is expanding military facilities thought to house long-range missiles that can hit the U.S., according to a think-tank report that revives doubts about the regime’s sincerity in disarmament negotiations.

Pyongyang is still producing nuclear weapons and appears to be upgrading a missile base near the Chinese border, according to the analysis by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Calif., based on satellite imagery taken in recent months.

“The missile base at Yeongjeo-dong has long been a concern to U.S. and South Korean officials because of its unique location,” the report said, referring to the border site, which it said is likely to receive the North’s latest weapons.

Seven miles away, North Korea has been building new facilities that appear to be either another missile base or an expansion of the Yeongjeo-dong facility, said the Middlebury analysis, first reported by CNN.

The U.S. Embassy in Seoul declined to comment.

U.S. officials have questioned whether North Korea is serious about giving up nuclear weapons as negotiations falter due to disagreements over U.S.-led sanctions and the pace of North Korean disarmament.

North Korea insists it has made significant concessions, including dismantling a missile launch site and a nuclear-weapons test site, and has called for the lifting of sanctions that ban or limit its trade in coal, textiles and raw materials. Washington has refused to ease sanctions until Pyongyang takes more concrete steps toward denuclearization.

Expansion of the Yeongjeo-dong site wouldn’t necessarily violate the agreement that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump reached in Singapore in June.

The deal obliges both sides to pursue new relations and “to work toward complete denuclearization”—vague phrases that were drafted by Pyongyang officials, according to a former senior North Korean official who defected to the South. The lack of specifics in the agreement has given diplomats room to negotiate, but also failed to bridge fundamental disagreements between the sides.

The U.S., though, has kept open the possibility of another summit between the two leaders, which Mr. Trump has said could take place early in the new year.

Meanwhile, warming inter-Korean relations are complicating the nuclear calculus.

South Korea has been urging Washington to accept some North Korean demands for a partial lifting of sanctions. Such a step would allow for renewed economic engagement between North and South, a goal of South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

But the South Korean leader has been cautious not to get too far out ahead of his U.S. ally. In a meeting with Mr. Trump last weekend, Mr. Moon expressed continued support for sanctions on Pyongyang, according to his spokesman.

Meanwhile, the U.S. and South Korea have worked to ease tensions with Pyongyang by scaling back joint military exercises this week. North Korea likewise toned down its usual criticism of the maneuvers, only briefly calling the exercises a “dangerous” move in a short article on its state media.
 

ElChupacabra

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Wait...so I can't sleep soundly anymore? ARRRGGHHH!!!
 

ElChupacabra

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No need to worry because Kim and Trump have a Love Thing goin on.


WHEW! For a second there I thought I we would actually need a disarmament treaty with specific outlines on disarmament, inspections, and compliance.
 

Felex Sanders

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My apologies. This is an off mainstream section. The WSJ is MS. I goofed, Sorry.
 

Felex Sanders

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I guess what I would like to discuss or hear is a solution. How can Kim be brought to the table and responsible negotiations and solutions be reached.
 

sangha

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I guess what I would like to discuss or hear is a solution. How can Kim be brought to the table and responsible negotiations and solutions be reached.

If the solution you seek involves NK denuclearizing, IMO there is none.

Kim, for good reason, believes that having nukes is in his nations best interests and that denuclearizing puts his nation at risk of invasion.
 

Felex Sanders

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If the solution you seek involves NK denuclearizing, IMO there is none.

Kim, for good reason, believes that having nukes is in his nations best interests and that denuclearizing puts his nation at risk of invasion.

I realize that he uses it as a protection device but is there a way to come to an agreement wherein we can be somewhat assured that he will not use them. Many nations have nuclear capability but we are not necessarily over concerned with annihilation from them because we have a general understanding. I just wonder is there a platform that we can jump off of that will lead to an equilibrium? A diplomatic solution?
 

sangha

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I realize that he uses it as a protection device but is there a way to come to an agreement wherein we can be somewhat assured that he will not use them. Many nations have nuclear capability but we are not necessarily over concerned with annihilation from them because we have a general understanding. I just wonder is there a platform that we can jump off of that will lead to an equilibrium? A diplomatic solution?

It is not merely a defensive measure. In fact, I would argue that, given NKs conventional forces which are capable of destroying SK and its population and Chinas pledge to defend NK against invasion, it has no need to have nuclear weapons for defensive purposes.

If a non-nuclear NK were to invade SK, it knows it would have to do battle with the US, which has an overwhelming superiority in conventional forces, not to mention its nuclear arsenal. However, with nuclear weapons and ICBMs which can deliver them to mainland USA, it becomes questionable as to whether the US would intervene and risk nuclear devastation to its cities in order to defend SK.

It is similar to the situation in Europe when the USSR developed and ICBMs. Up until that time, the Europeans had no nukes. They depended on the US nuclear arsenal to defend them. So in order to have credible nuclear threat they could use, they developed some of their own.
 

Felex Sanders

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It is not merely a defensive measure. In fact, I would argue that, given NKs conventional forces which are capable of destroying SK and its population and Chinas pledge to defend NK against invasion, it has no need to have nuclear weapons for defensive purposes.

If a non-nuclear NK were to invade SK, it knows it would have to do battle with the US, which has an overwhelming superiority in conventional forces, not to mention its nuclear arsenal. However, with nuclear weapons and ICBMs which can deliver them to mainland USA, it becomes questionable as to whether the US would intervene and risk nuclear devastation to its cities in order to defend SK.

It is similar to the situation in Europe when the USSR developed and ICBMs. Up until that time, the Europeans had no nukes. They depended on the US nuclear arsenal to defend them. So in order to have credible nuclear threat they could use, they developed some of their own.

Agreed. But now that NK is in fact a nuclear power and we know they won't reverse that fact under any circumstances wouldn't it be best to attempt to begin negotiations with them (if that is even possible) for an agreement like what we need to re- negotiate with Russia and like what we have in place with other nations with nuclear power worldwide? I mean if NK is going to keep the weapons then it just makes sense to begin nuclear talks as if dealing with a nuclear power. What else can you do? If they have them they have them and we can tell them to disarm all we want but if they say no then what? The world goes to nuclear war? No. Negotiations are the only way now. Besides if we try and cut them off with bans and tariffs and so forth they will only get assistance from the rest of the communistic world which they have already shown they are willing to do. Your thoughts.
 

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Agreed. But now that NK is in fact a nuclear power and we know they won't reverse that fact under any circumstances wouldn't it be best to attempt to begin negotiations with them (if that is even possible) for an agreement like what we need to re- negotiate with Russia and like what we have in place with other nations with nuclear power worldwide? I mean if NK is going to keep the weapons then it just makes sense to begin nuclear talks as if dealing with a nuclear power. What else can you do? If they have them they have them and we can tell them to disarm all we want but if they say no then what? The world goes to nuclear war? No. Negotiations are the only way now. Besides if we try and cut them off with bans and tariffs and so forth they will only get assistance from the rest of the communistic world which they have already shown they are willing to do. Your thoughts.

Of course a diplomatic solution is preferred, even if it involves recognizing NK as a nuclear power. However, such an agreement requires a level of mutual trust that I suspect does not exist.
 

Felex Sanders

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Of course a diplomatic solution is preferred, even if it involves recognizing NK as a nuclear power. However, such an agreement requires a level of mutual trust that I suspect does not exist.

Unfortunately very true. Perhaps we are going to have to stop and rethink how best to appease all the powers that be. I don't know. But if we appease everyone it will leave America in a bit of stretch. I don't know. I wish we had more intel.
 

Grand Mal

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If the solution you seek involves NK denuclearizing, IMO there is none.

Kim, for good reason, believes that having nukes is in his nations best interests and that denuclearizing puts his nation at risk of invasion.

Well, history might have been different if Saddam had had nukes. I'm certainly not advocating that minor-league despots arm themselves with nuclear weapons, I'm just sayin'.
 

sangha

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Well, history might have been different if Saddam had had nukes. I'm certainly not advocating that minor-league despots arm themselves with nuclear weapons, I'm just sayin'.

And neither am I. But its a reality we have to deal with. There is no easy answers here. Maybe no answer at all.

Just sayin
 

azgreg

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WHEW! For a second there I thought I we would actually need a disarmament treaty with specific outlines on disarmament, inspections, and compliance.

Who knew this would be so hard?
 

Mr Person

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WHEW! For a second there I thought I we would actually need a disarmament treaty with specific outlines on disarmament, inspections, and compliance.

And remember: how utterly and naively he fails, he is still better than Obama because at least he tried





(No, really. Some people actually typed that a few months back).
 

ElChupacabra

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And remember: how utterly and naively he fails, he is still better than Obama because at least he tried





(No, really. Some people actually typed that a few months back).

Yeah, there was the whole "he's done more than any other president because he talked to Jong-un". It's claiming a participation trophy. If something concrete comes out of it that the administration is has a hand in completing then credit will be due, but until then stating people could sleep soundly because North Korea was done with nuclear weapons was a bit premature.
 

ElChupacabra

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Who knew this would be so hard?

I know, right? I always thought you just take the person out to lunch and sort it out. During that lunch you would stare in that person's eyes and see their soul; they would do the same and all would be well.
 

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If the solution you seek involves NK denuclearizing, IMO there is none.

Kim, for good reason, believes that having nukes is in his nations best interests and that denuclearizing puts his nation at risk of invasion.

I'm pretty sure he was paying close attention to what happened with Gaddafi. Any chance of denuclearization (I doubt there was any to begin with to be honest) was completely thrown out the window. America simply can't be trusted, even more so with Trump in office. The only reasonable option is to simply ignore them, Kim wants to stay in power so the likelyhood of him attacking the US is virtually zero as he knows that would essentially garauntee his death.
 

FreedomFromAll

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I'm pretty sure he was paying close attention to what happened with Gaddafi. Any chance of denuclearization (I doubt there was any to begin with to be honest) was completely thrown out the window. America simply can't be trusted, even more so with Trump in office. The only reasonable option is to simply ignore them, Kim wants to stay in power so the likelyhood of him attacking the US is virtually zero as he knows that would essentially garauntee his death.

It would be reasonable for NK to not attack the US. But the man is far from reasonable so anything is possible.
 
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