WASHINGTON - One of 20 undeclared ballistic missile operating bases in North Korea serves as a missile headquarters, according to a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) a Washington-based think-tank published on Monday.

"The Sino-ri missile operating base and the Nodong missiles deployed at this location fit into North Korea's presumed nuclear military strategy by providing an operational-level nuclear or conventional first strike capability," said the report co-authored by analyst Victor Cha.

The discovery of an undeclared missile headquarters comes three days after US President Donald Trump said he "looks forward" to another summit to discuss denuclearisation with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in late February.

Kim vowed to work towards denuclearisation at his first summit with Trump in June, but there has since been little concrete progress.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

CSIS, which last reported on the 20 missile bases in November, said the Sino-ri base has never been declared by North Korea and as a result "does not appear to be the subject of denuclearisation negotiations."

The report said that missile operating bases would presumably be subject to declaration, verification, and dismantlement in any nuclear deal.

"The North Koreans are not going to negotiate over things they don't disclose," said Cha.
"It looks like they're playing a game. They're still going to have all this operational capability," even if they destroy their disclosed nuclear sites.(FA)