Secret North Korean missile base identified in report is one of 20
NORTH KOREA — NBC reports that researchers from a Washington based think-tank have discovered a secret missile base in North Korea — one of more than a dozen undisclosed sites in the Hermit Kingdom.
North Korea's Sino-ri Missile Base is a seven square mile complex located 132 miles north of the DMZ.
According to a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the base has played a key role in developing ballistic missiles capable of reaching South Korea, Japan, and Guam.
Sino-ri is one of about 20 undisclosed sites used to develop the country's ballistic missile program.
It houses a regiment sized unit equipped with Nodong-1 medium range ballistic missiles.
Satellite photos from December 2018 identifies entrances to an underground bunker or facility, hardened shelters, a headquarters area, and a communication facility among others.
The base is supported by two nearby facilities.
Sobaek-su Academy is a ballistic missile school for Strategic Rocket Forces personnel that also conducts research on "ballistic missile design and operation.
The Myodu-san training area is believed to be the primary field training facility for both the missile base and the academy.
CSIS previously identified 13 of the 20 undeclared missile operating sites last November.
One site, the Sakkanmol missile base, reportedly had barracks and underground facilities to house transporter-erector-launches or mobile-erector-launchers.
Reuters reports that the discovery comes just days after Trump announced he looks forward to discussing denuclearization with Kim Jong Un at a second summit in late February.
According to CSIS, North Korean missile bases would be subject to declaration, verification, and dismantlement in any denuclearization deal.
But since Sino-ri and the 19 other bases have never been declared by North Korea, they "do not appear to be the subject of denuclearization negotiations."
Victor Cha, one of the report's authors, says it looks like North Korea is playing a game.
Even if they destroy their disclosed nuclear facilities, they will still have operational capability.