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Report: North Korea miniaturized nukes after summit

By
Elizabeth Shim
A North Korean image of Kim Jong Un (C) examining a nuclear warhead in 2017. The regime has continued to miniaturize weapons, according to a South Korean press report. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
A North Korean image of Kim Jong Un (C) examining a "nuclear" warhead in 2017. The regime has continued to miniaturize weapons, according to a South Korean press report. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 14 (UPI) -- South Korea's spy agency said North Korea has continued to miniaturize nuclear warheads, even after the Singapore summit between Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, according to a South Korean press report.

Members of a South Korean parliamentary intelligence committee told Newsis on Wednesday Seoul's national intelligence service has confirmation North Korea's miniaturization of nuclear weapons has been ongoing, despite agreements to denuclearize.

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The committee had met to discuss the report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, addressing the issue of undeclared missile bases in the North.

Seoul's spy agency said the Sakkanmol missile base, the object of the CSIS study, was an "already known" quantity in the intelligence community.

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According to Newsis, an NIS official said the Sakkanmol base is operating at a "normal level of activity," and "other missile bases are being tracked down."

The NIS also briefed parliament on the current status of missiles held in North Korea, and confirmed Seoul and Washington jointly evaluate and share information on monitored facilities related to Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.

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South Korea's presidential office staff, in Singapore this week for the ASEAN summit, said Seoul is "in negotiations" to bring an end to North Korea nuclear activities.

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The CSIS report has triggered government responses. On Tuesday President Donald Trump dismissed a related New York Times article in a tweet.

"The story in the New York Times concerning North Korea developing missile bases is inaccurate. We fully know about the sites being discussed, nothing new -- and nothing happening out of the normal. Just more Fake News. I will be the first to let you know if things go bad!" he said.

Other analysts, including U.S. nuclear scientist Siegfried Hecker, said the CSIS report is misleading, South Korean network JTBC reported.

"Some bases may be newly identified, so the report does provide some new information. However, the report is terribly misleading in that it implies these bases go counter to the Singapore summit or other agreements that Kim and Trump may have reached," Hecker said, according to JTBC.

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"Of course, the missile bases are undeclared -- North Korea never said it would declare its missile bases."

Hecker also said he does not think North Korea has missiles and warheads that can survive a journey to the United States.

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