Trump: NY Times report on North Korean missile bases inaccurate

Trump: NY Times report on North Korean missile bases inaccurate
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpAustralia recognizes West Jerusalem as Israeli capital, won't move embassy Mulvaney will stay on as White House budget chief Trump touts ruling against ObamaCare: ‘Mitch and Nancy’ should pass new health-care law MORE slammed The New York Times on Tuesday for its coverage of a report that said it had identified 13 of the estimated 20 previously undeclared missile operating bases in North Korea, claiming that the paper's article was "inaccurate."

"The story in the New York Times concerning North Korea developing missile bases is inaccurate," Trump tweeted, referencing the paper's coverage of a report from the Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). "We fully know about the sites being discussed, nothing new — and nothing happening out of the normal."

"Just more Fake News," he wrote. "I will be the first to let you know if things go bad!"

In its report, CSIS wrote “North Korea’s decommissioning of the Sohae satellite launch facility, while gaining much media attention, obscures the military threat to U.S. forces and South Korea from this and other undeclared ballistic missile bases,” adding that the sites appear to be "active and being reasonably well-maintained."

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The office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday dismissed the think tank's findings, telling the Times in a statement that the report contains "nothing new" and adding that intelligence officials in the U.S. and Seoul have known about such bases.

Moon's spokesman, Kim Eui-kyeom, added that it is inaccurate to characterize the bases noted in the Times's write-up of the report as a "great deception."

"North Korea has never promised to dismantle its missile bases, nor has it ever joined any treaty that obligates it to dismantle them. So calling this a ‘deception’ is not appropriate," Kim told The Times.

The paper wrote that the images in the report "suggest that the North has been engaged in a great deception: It has offered to dismantle a major launching site—a step it began, then halted—while continuing to make improvements at more than a dozen others that would bolster launches of conventional and nuclear warheads."

The Times said in a tweet that it stands by its reporting.

Victor Cha, a North Korea expert who serves as the Korea chair at CSIS, told The Hill that the report confirms experts' acknowledgements that the country's missile program is "extensive and beyond what the North Koreans have put on the table for negotiation."

"CSIS analysis of [Democratic People's Republic of Korea's] operational missile bases only confirms what experts have long acknowledged — that the missile program is extensive and beyond what the North Koreans have put on the table for negotiation," Cha said.

"We seek only to raise the level of informed public policy discussion on the issue and to ensure that any deal that the President makes lives up to the highest standards of denuclearization."

Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June to discuss denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but negotiations seem to have stalled in recent weeks.

A meeting set for last week between Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoShowdown at the Security Council? Hillicon Valley — Presented by AT&T — Facebook bug exposed photos of up to 6.8M users | Canada warns Trump not to intervene in Huawei case | Tech giant accused of providing cybersecurity to terror groups Canada warns Trump: Huawei extradition shouldn't be ‘politicized’ MORE and a top North Korean official has been indefinitely postponed.

Trump said last month that he expects to meet with Kim for a second summit after the midterm elections.

-- Updated 2:07 p.m.

--This report was updated at 2:00 p.m.