The bases were first reported by CSIS in November, however, the latest report provides details on the Sino-ri missile operating base, which is believed to serve as the HQ for developing ballistic missiles capable of reaching other countries, including South Korea, Japan, and even the US territory of Guam in the Western Pacific, according to the report, cited by Reuters.
“The Sino-ri missile operating base and the Nodong missiles deployed at this location fit into North Korea’s presumed nuclear military strategy by providing an operational-level nuclear or conventional first strike capability,” the report said.
The seven-square-mile (18-square-km) base is located 132 miles (212 kilometers) north of the demilitarized zone. It houses a regiment-sized unit equipped with Nodong-1 medium-range ballistic missiles, the report added. The report was published three days after US President Donald Trump’s Friday anouncement that he “looks forward” to another denuclearization summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in late February. The Sino-ri remains undeclared by the DPRK and thus“ does not appear to be the subject of denuclearization negotiations.”
“The North Koreans are not going to negotiate over things they don’t disclose,” said Victor Cha, one of the authors of the report. “It looks like they’re playing a game. They’re still going to have all this operational capability,” even if they destroy their disclosed nuclear facilities.
On June 12, Trump and Kim met in Singapore, where they committed to establishing a new US-North Korea relationship. In a joint declaration, Kim pledged to work towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, while in return, Trump promised to provide certain security guarantees to North Korea.