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The truth about denuclearisation

The truth about denuclearisation

After the announcement that Pyongyang will denuclearise its bases comes the news that work on new and seriously dangerous missiles is very much on. New indicators, including satellite images, show that North Korea could be in the midst of building new missiles. According to experts, the new information reveals that work is potentially taking place on one or two liquid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missiles in Sanumdong, a suburb of Pyongyang. Liquid-fueled rockets are harder to store and move quicker than solid-fuel rockets because the fuel is more volatile. The volatility of liquid fuel can cause missiles to fail during launch and the fuel has to be stored separate from the missiles, causing a decrease in military readiness. Liquid fuelling can also take a fairly long time to complete, giving spy satellites some time to see the launch preparations underway. Solid-fueled missiles can be very quickly launched, giving the US very limited warning. News that North Koreans are potentially developing new weapons would be a heavy blow to Donald Trump's efforts at diplomacy with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Last Tuesday, Trump said that new images had signalled that North Korea was beginning to dismantle "a key missile site". The images were taken between July 20 and July 22 and showed that North Korea had indeed started to dismantle key facilities at the satellite launch station. However, according to sources with close knowledge of North Korea's position on the matter, the continued negotiations between the United States and North Korea hinge on Washington's willingness to make a "bold move" and agree to a peace treaty with Pyongyang. The same sources had said that if a peace treaty to replace the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War did not ensure the survival of the current North Korean regime, it could be the end of denuclearisation talks. The intelligence community has publicly stated that it has seen signs of continued activity, including at fuel plants. That is not very good news for the Korean peninsula. Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged that North Korean factories "continue to produce fissile material" used in making nuclear weapons. Pompeo also told the committee that moving toward concrete denuclearisation is "a process that would take time". The commander of US Forces Korea said at the recent Aspen Security Forum that North Korea's "production capability is still intact". Adding, "We haven't seen a complete shutdown of production yet. We have not seen the removal of fuel rods. These types of things tell us that there are steps that still must be taken on the road to denuclearisation." So, North Korea's nuclear production capability is still intact.

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