SEOUL, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- South Korea's presidential office said that South Korea and the United States have been aware of the North Korean missile base, which a U.S. think tank revealed and claimed to be active based on commercial satellite images.
"The South Korean and U.S. intelligence officials know about the missile base in much more detail. We have been watching this site and there has been nothing new from this," said Kim Eui-kyeom, a presidential spokesman said in a press briefing on Tuesday.
Kim said the missile base, reported to be the Sakkanmol Missile Operating Base by the Center for Strategic and International Studies' Beyond Parallel project on Monday, is for short-range missiles and North Korea hasn't signed any agreement which obligates them to close it.
"It doesn't have to do with ICBM or IRBM," said Kim, regarding claims that it could accommodate other types of ballistic missiles. North Korea claimed last year that its intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) are capable of capable of launching a nuclear warhead and strike the U.S. mainland.
Kim said having an undeclared missile base not a "deception" as New York Times called in its article since North Korea has never signed an agreement under which it is mandated to close the base.
"It rather calls for the need to restart (denuclearization) talks early," he said.
The CSIS report said that the short-range ballistic missile base is one of the 20 undeclared missile bases in North Korea. Located 135 kilometers north of the South Korean capital of Seoul, it can reach the city in a short period of time, it said.