May 07, 2020 09:37
North Korea is close to completing a missile storage facility near Pyongyang Sunan International Airport.
The facility is "almost certainly related to North Korea's expanding ballistic missile program," the Beyond Parallel website at the Center for Strategic and International Studies reported Tuesday.
"A high-bay building within the facility is large enough to accommodate an elevated Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile and, therefore, the entirety of North Korea's known ballistic missile variants," it added.
Meanwhile, John Ratcliffe, the nominee for U.S. director of national intelligence, has declined to comment on whether there has been any progress in denuclearization negotiations with North Korea.
Asked in his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday if he believes the U.S. has made progress in reversing the North's nuclear development, he simply said, "I can't address whether or not we've made progress."
He expressed hope that "North Korea may be willing to trade some nuclear and missile concessions for sanctions relief and other political and security benefits."
In a separate written answer to a question about Pyongyang's continued provocations like missile tests, he said, "I believe that North Korea continues to view nuclear weapons as essential to protect the regime from military action and to gain standing in the international community."
Meanwhile, North Korea celebrated its progress in nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile development on Tuesday. In an editorial, the official Rodong Sinmun daily wrote, "We've made a historic achievement by climbing over the biggest mountain since the country's founding."
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