US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday (July 3) talks with North Korea were making progress despite reports Kim Jong Un's regime had stepped up its nuclear program after the two leaders held a historic summit. "We have a very good chemistry".
The Middlebury Institute of International Studies report found that North Korea has recently expanded a factory complex in the eastern city of Hamhung that produces key engines for solid-fuel ballistic missiles.
The July 2 satellite imagery comes after a week of other reports that North Korea is continuing its missile and nuclear development program.
White House officials declined to comment the satellite images.
Sung Kim, the US ambassador to the Philippines, who has been a key member of negotiating team, met over the weekend with North Korean officials in the Demilitarized Zone between the Koreas.
"We're continuing to make progress", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said at Monday's press briefing.
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National security adviser John Bolton said on CBS's "Face the Nation" earlier Sunday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would communicate with the North Koreans in the near future about the dismantling of their weapons of mass destruction as well as their nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The expansion efforts came after the North Korean leader made a similar denuclearization pledge during his April 27th meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Trump did not respond to recent news reports of USA intelligence assessments saying Kim Jong-un's regime has been expanding its weapons capabilities after the two leaders held a historic summit in Singapore.
".And as far as the one-year timeline, Ambassador Bolton said if North Korea makes the decision to denuclearize, their ballistics programs could be dismantled in a year". US officials say they are clear-eyed about the North's past behavior in negotiations.
Nauert similarly dodged a question on the specific timeline imposed on North Korea regarding getting rid of its illegal nuclear weapons program. "I think they want to do it", he said in a prerecorded interview.
Mr Chang said that Kim Jong-un may now believe he can "push President Trump around".
"There's no evidence that they are decreasing stockpiles, or that they have stopped their production", one anonymous official told NBC News last week. "But the secretary - we're all keeping a close eye - the United States government is keeping a close eye on North Korea - and the secretary has been very clear and very blunt with the North Koreans about what he expects".