February 18, 2019 11:42
A leading U.S. think tank has spotted yet another undisclosed ballistic missile base in North Korea, in Sangnam-ri, South Hamgyong Province.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies on Friday published a report on the Sangnam-ri missile site, less than a month after its report on a secret missile base in Sino-ri, North Pyongan Province in late last month.
In November last year, it also uncovered another secret missile base in Sakkanmol, North Hwanghae Province.
The Sangnam-ri missile base sits on the east coast of South Hamgyong 310 km northeast from Pyongyang and stations mid- and long-range ballistic missiles, including the Hwasong-10 (Musudan), according to the report on the CSIS' Beyond Parallel website.
The Sangnam-ri base has actually been known since 1999. Situated in a valley, it has been expanded constantly and now has an underground facility, tunnels, and a camp for guards.
The regime first built the base to deploy Musudan missiles with a range of about 4,000 km but has recently also stationed many better-performing Hwasong-12 and Pukguksong-2 missiles there.
"The original goal of the Sangnam-ri missile unit was to strike Japan [which is regarded as a rear base of the UN Command]," a military spokesman here said. "But it's possible that its target has been extended to Guam due to the extended range of the missiles."
The North Korean regime has never reported the Sangnam-ri base to the international community, and it is not on the agenda of U.S.-North Korea denuclearization talks, the CSIS pointed out.
"Any potential agreement that decommissions the Tongchang-ri (Sohae) rocket test stand alone would obscure the extant military threat to U.S. forces and South Korea from this and other undeclared ballistic missile bases," it added.
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