Satellite images of a North Korean weapons factory near Pyongyang reportedly shows the expansion of one facility amid stalled nuclear talks with the U.S.
The Associated Press reported Monday that images released by the private firm Planet Labs shows what one expert at the Middlebury Institute said was potentially new construction at a long-range missile construction facility.
Jeffrey Lewis, who directs the institute’s East Asia nonproliferation program, told the AP that the construction was likely tied to North Korea’s desire to increase production of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and newer long-range missiles.
“I would think North Korea would want 50-100 such systems. … This would probably be some mix of ICBMs we have seen and the new system that North Korea claims is under development,” he said, according to the AP.
North Korean officials have warned that a “Christmas gift” could be in store for the U.S. should negotiators fail to offer a major concession to North Korean officials before a deadline at the end of the month, following months of stalled nuclear talks that fell apart following President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer pro golfer advanced business interests of indicted Giuliani associates: report Republican group to run ads in target states demanding testimony from White House officials in Trump impeachment trial Mulvaney deputy tapped for White House tech post MORE‘s meeting with Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnSatellite images show new construction at North Korea missile site: report US officials bracing for imminent North Korea test of intercontinental ballistic missile: report Impeachment just confirms Trump’s leadership MORE in February, which failed to produce a new agreement.
“The dialogue touted by the U.S. is, in essence, nothing but a foolish trick hatched to keep the DPRK bound to dialogue and use it in favor of the political situation and election in the U.S.,” a North Korean official said earlier this month. “What is left to be done now is the U.S. option and it is entirely up to the U.S. what Christmas gift it will select to get.”
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