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UPDATE 1-Trump says North Korean missile sites are 'nothing new'

Reuters | Updated: 13-11-2018 23:26 IST | Created: 13-11-2018 23:26 IST
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday criticized what he called inaccurate media reports that said North Korea had not declared more than a dozen missile bases.

"We fully know about the sites being discussed, nothing new - and nothing happening out of the normal," Trump wrote in a post on Twitter, referring to a report on Monday in the New York Times. "I will be the first to let you know if things go bad!"

Pyongyang halted missile and nuclear bomb testing earlier this year but U.S. and South Korean negotiators have yet to elicit from North Korea a concrete declaration of the size or scope of its weapons program or a promise to stop deploying its existing arsenal.

The New York Times published a report on Monday that mentioned the findings of a think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, noting that 16 hidden bases had not been discussed in talks between North Korea and the United States. (https://nyti.ms/2PVAIVL)

The Washington, D.C.-based CSIS's report said maintenance and minor infrastructure improvements had been observed at some of the sites despite the negotiations.

Washington said it was continuing to push for denuclearization. But North Korea has not acknowledged the missile bases, and analysts say accurately disclosing nuclear weapons and missile capabilities would be important for any such deal.

A spokesman for South Korea's Blue House said in a statement Seoul's military satellites had been closely monitoring the sites and noted Pyongyang had never promised to declare the existence of missile bases or to shut them down. (Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by David Alexander and Bernadette Baum)



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