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Telesom Dahabshiil
Published On: Wed, May 6th, 2020

Pyongyang Facility near Airport linked to N Korea’s missile program: Report

Washington(ANN) A Washington-based think tank says a new facility near Pyongyang International Airport is probably linked to North Korea’s ballistic missile program.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said in a report published on Tuesday that the facility, called the Sil-li Ballistic Missile Support Facility, and an underground structure built near it have the capacity to accommodate North Korea’s largest intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

The report added that the facility included an unusually large, covered rail terminal and buildings that are connected by a wide-surfaced road network that could help move large trucks and ballistic missile launchers.

“Taken as a whole, these characteristics suggest that this facility is likely designed to support ballistic missile operations,” the report said.

According to CSIS, the Sil-li facility, which has been under construction since 2016, encompasses approximately 442,300 square meters. It is located on the southwest corner of Pyongyang International Airport, approximately 17 kilometers northwest of the North Korean capital and relatively close to ballistic missile component manufacturing plants in the Pyongyang area.

“A high-bay building within the facility is large enough to accommodate an elevated Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile and, therefore, the entirety of North Korea’s known ballistic missile variants,” the report said.

“The facility has been constructed next to an underground facility whose likely size is also large enough to easily accommodate all known North Korean ballistic missiles and their associated launchers and support vehicles.”

A spokesman for South Korea’s Unification Ministry declined to comment on the report.

North Korea has been under multiple rounds of US and United Nations (UN) sanctions over its missile and nuclear programs.

Pyongyang started diplomacy with the US in 2018. But negotiations have ground to a halt since the collapse of a second summit between US President Donald Trump and the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, last February in Vietnam — where Trump refused to accept a proposal for bilateral action and left the talks.

In his New Year speech this year, Kim called off a two-year ban on nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests — agreed in talks with the US. The North Korean leader made the decision after months of repeated calls on the US to ease the sanctions imposed on North Korea.

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