President Trump took to Twitter to push back on the Times report, calling the claims "inaccurate" and "just more fake news". The South Korean government is busy defending North Korea against all critics to the point where it is fast becoming part of the problem the worldwide community has to contend with.
A USA think tank said on Monday it had identified at least 13 of an estimated 20 undeclared missile bases inside North Korea, underscoring the challenge for American negotiators hoping to persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.
Kim's own words suggest Pyongyang will continue with production and development of the nuclear program even as it negotiates with Washington on denuclearization, experts say.
Shortly after the C-S-I-S report on North Korean missile bases was published, the South Korean presidential office of Cheongwadae also said there's nothing new in it.
Intercontinental ballistic missiles are driven past the stand with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and other high ranking officials during a military parade in Pyongyang on April 15, 2017.
The report said there might be as many as 20 such undeclared bases in North Korea.
"The United States and North Korea have yet to conclude an agreement that inhibits deployment of missiles by Pyongyang, never mind requiring their dismantlement". He continued, "But we're very happy how it's going with North Korea".
"There were no specifics or written commitments for detailed scheduling over what to do with North Korea's weapons of mass destruction", said Go Myong Hyun, a research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, a think tank in Seoul, South Korea. Sakkanmol has seven underground facilities for the storage and fueling of the liquid-fueled missiles, with enough room to store all of the missile launchers.
Mr Trump has said he hopes to meet again soon with Kim, but there are signs of growing friction in the negotiations with North Korean officials, which appear to have stalled.
"I think that it's a reinforcement of a notion that the North Koreans are trying to drag out this diplomacy as long as possible and that they want to deal as much as possible directly with President Trump", said Fuchs. They argued that the news was being spun to make it appear that Pyongyang was blatantly disregarding agreements with the USA and actively ramping up its nuclear and missile programs.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was scheduled to meet with top North Korean officials in NY last week, but the North Koreans canceled. It's exactly what Kim said he would do.
"While missiles could be launched from within them in an emergency, Korean People's Army operational procedures call for missile launchers to disperse from the bases to pre-surveyed or semi-prepared launch sites for operations". "The last round of tests under Kim Jong-un were not just coming from missile test sites".
United States ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, and other Trump administration officials, have repeatedly stated North Korea has done nothing to warrant the economic relief it demands.
"Note the description of nuclear weapons as the only firm security assurance", Pollack said.
Pyongyang has asked for "phased and synchronised measures" for denuclearisation, meaning the worldwide community would slowly relax or drop sanctions with each step in the denuclearisation process, rather than waiting until its completion.