The Slatest

U.S. Intelligence Says North Korea’s Nuclear Program Still Active Despite Trump Declaring Mission Accomplished

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un rests his hand on President Trump’s back as the leaders walk out of a signing ceremony during the US-North Korea summit in Singapore.
See, all gone.
SAUL LOEB/Getty Images

Despite President Trump’s “mission accomplished” good vibes after his summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last month, after which he declared “there is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea,” it turns out, there is a still a nuclear threat from North Korea. That’s according to U.S. spy agencies, which the Washington Post reports, have gathered evidence complete with satellite imagery that suggests Pyongyang is actively at work on its nuclear program. At least one liquid-fueled ICBM, the variety capable of hitting the U.S., is under construction at a facility outside the capital city, according to U.S. intelligence, indicating that the country continues to manufacture weapons, despite its public statements to the contrary.

“The reports about new missile construction come after recent revelations about a suspected uranium enrichment facility, called Kangson, that North Korea is operating in secret,” the Washington Post reports. “[S]enior North Korean officials have discussed their intention to deceive Washington about the number of nuclear warheads and missiles they have, as well as the types and numbers of facilities, and to rebuff international inspectors, according to intelligence gathered by U.S. agencies. Their strategy includes potentially asserting that they have fully denuclearized by declaring and disposing of 20 warheads while retaining dozens more.”

The Kim regime has been observed to be dismantling the Sohae Satellite Launching Station on the country’s west coast, as promised during discussions with Trump, but that concession is largely seen as symbolic, as the facility could be quickly rebuilt if need be. “Buttressing the intelligence findings, independent missile experts this week also reported observing activity consistent with missile construction at the Sanumdong plant,” according to the Post. “Several U.S. officials and private analysts said the continued activity inside North Korea’s weapons complex is not surprising, given that Kim made no public promise at the summit to halt work at the scores of nuclear and missile facilities scattered around the country.”