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North Korea Continues to Expand Its Ballistic Missile Program

A new study released yesterday by Beyond Parallel, a program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, found that North Korea is continuing to build out it's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. It identified 16 hidden bases from which North Korea could launch missiles with either conventional or nuclear warheads. Their report also noted that Kim Jong-un's regime is continuing to improve these sites. This new study is another embarrassment for President Trump who had assured Americans that he had neutralized the threat from North Korea.

New York Times: "The existence of the ballistic missile bases, which North Korea has never acknowledged, contradicts Mr. Trump’s assertion that his landmark diplomacy is leading to the elimination of a nuclear and missile program that the North had warned could devastate the United States."

And the report follows on the heels of earlier setbacks for President Trump's diplomacy with Kim Jong-un. The Trump administration acknowledged in August that North Korea continues to produce the "fissile" material necessary to make nuclear weapons and international sanctions against N. Korea have begun to break down.

New York Times: "And the sanctions are collapsing, in part because North Korea has leveraged its new, softer-sounding relationship with Washington, and its stated commitment to eventual denuclearization, to resume trade with Russia and China."

Kim Jong-un is strengthening his position in anticipation of future negotiations with President Trump over the future of North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula seems less likely with each passing day.

#InternationalRelations #NorthKorea #news

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