President Trump’s feeble policy toward North Korea is headed in the same direction as his predecessors’, with attempts to “negotiate” answered by Pyongyang’s successful effort to buy time and continue to develop its nuclear and missile programs.
The Washington Post reports that the North Koreans are working diligently on their ICBM program, hoping to develop nuclear-tipped missiles that could hit the United States. Once that happens, the game completely changes, with Kim Jong-un able to hold America hostage to his policies and the chances of an accidental launch something Americans will forever have to live with.
Once Kim has ICBMs, we cannot attack him and his nuclear program is forever.
According to the Post:
U.S. spy agencies are seeing signs that North Korea is constructing new missiles at a factory that produced the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States, according to officials familiar with the intelligence.
Newly obtained evidence, including satellite photos taken in recent weeks, indicates that work is underway on at least one and possibly two liquid-fueled ICBMs at a large research facility in Sanumdong, on the outskirts of Pyongyang, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe classified intelligence.
The findings are the latest to show ongoing activity inside North Korea’s nuclear and missile facilities at a time when the country’s leaders are engaged in arms talks with the United States. The new intelligence does not suggest an expansion of North Korea’s capabilities but shows that work on advanced weapons is continuing weeks after President Trump declared in a Twitter posting that Pyongyang was “no longer a Nuclear Threat.”
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. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged during Senate testimony last week that North Korean factories “continue to produce fissile material” used in making nuclear weapons. He declined to say whether Pyongyang is building new missiles.
Trump began his administration with an admirably tough approach to North Korea. But Kim effectively neutralized him by tempting Trump into a bilateral summit that produced little of substance, at least that we know about, and that appears to have given North Korea more time to develop its capabilities, which is exactly what it needs.