AZUZ: Newly released images from satellites that look down on North Korea, have identified more than 12 missile operating bases that the communist country handn't declared. But the significance of this is up for debate. On one hand, American intelligence agencies have known about these sites for a long time. On another, U.S. President Donald Trump suggested in a news conference last week that North Korea had stopped working on its missile program.
He and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made history over the summer, they became the first sitting leaders of the U.S. and North Korea to meet face to face. But there's been a slowdown in negotiations between the two countries, and though North Korea says it's taken some steps to get rid of its nuclear weapons, the main concern of the United States, some experts say the moves that the communist country has made are cosmetic and reversible.
Still, others say that North Korea never promised to get rid of its missile program, and that it may need the bases and the satellite pictures for self defense. So do these missile bases indicate that North Korea will find a way to remain powerfully armed no matter what happens with the U.S., or are they insignificant when compared to the possibility that North Korea could eventually give up its nuclear weapons?
There's disagreement over this. And it's another example of how analyzing the country, what its intentions are, what problems or successes it has, has been so difficult. North Korea is secretive, its government controls and limits the media, even the foreign journalists who are allowed in are closely watched by the authoritarian dictatorship.