Independent analysis of commercial satellite imagery has revealed that North Korea has been building up their ballistic missile program at over a dozen hidden bases that haven't been previously revealed to the public.
This report from the New York Times heavily implies that the existence of these hidden bases, revealed over the weekend by the Beyond Parallel program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, is not news to American intelligence although we've never heard about this before.
“We are in no rush,” Mr. Trump said of talks with the North at a news conference on Wednesday, after Republicans lost control of the House. “The sanctions are on. The missiles have stopped. The rockets have stopped. The hostages are home.”
His statement was true in just one sense. Mr. Trump appeared to be referring to the halt of missile flight tests, which have not occurred in nearly a year. But American intelligence officials say that the North’s production of nuclear material, of new nuclear weapons and of missiles that can be placed on mobile launchers and hidden in mountains at the secret bases has continued. [...]
A State Department spokesman responded to the findings with a written statement suggesting that the government believed the sites must be dismantled: “President Trump has made clear that should Chairman Kim follow through on his commitments, including complete denuclearization and the elimination of ballistic missile programs, a much brighter future lies ahead for North Korea and its people.” A spokesman for the C.I.A. declined to comment.
While the CIA declined to comment, a spokesman for South Korean President Moon Jae-in issued a statement saying that South Korean and American intelligence know all about these hidden bases. Moon's office also downplayed this report and said North Korea has never agreed to dismantle their missile program, which is true enough, but I think that ignores the spirit and context of what has taken place up to now.
North Korea partially dismantled one missile base and presented it as proof that they're willing to negotiate in good faith with the United States and South Korea, and Trump bought it, but the North has been building up 16 other missile bases that we're just now learning about.
It's an open question to me if this information has been intentionally withheld from the public to make Trump's acceptance of Kim Jong-un's gestures easier to sell.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies called North Korea's hidden missile bases a "great deception," a description that President Moon Jae-in's office is strongly denying, but maybe the deception was not between North Korea and the United States. The "great deception" may have been between the Trump regime and the American public.
The fact that South Korea's president issued a public statement acknowledging that they know all about these bases while American intelligence declined to comment tells me they may not necessarily be on the same page.
You can find highly detailed photos and analysis here.