Experts warn of growing missile base in N. Korea
North Korea is expanding an important missile base that would be one of the most likely sites for deploying intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States, two experts on the North’s missile programs said Thursday, citing new research based on satellite imagery.
The activities at the Yeongjeo-dong missile base near North Korea’s border with China and the expansion of a new suspected missile facility seven miles away are the latest indications that North Korea is continuing to improve its missile capabilities, said Jeffrey Lewis and David Schmerler of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in California. And they come despite President Donald Trump’s repeated claims of progress in efforts to denuclearize the North.
Lewis and Schmerler said they were still not sure whether Yeongjeodong and the new facility under construction in nearby Hoejung-ni were separate bases or parts of a larger single operation.
But their geographic locations make them ideal to “house long-range missiles,” they said in a report they were preparing.
“The base is located in the interior of North Korea, backed up against the Chinese border,” they said.
“It is this location that leads us to believe that the general area is a strong candidate for the deployment of future missiles that can strike the United States.”