However, beyond Rupert Murdoch's hot house for exotic plants the story is very different. Apparently the North Korean Communist dictator did not tell the easily fooled Trump the truth about his willingness to disarm his nuclear arsenal. Rather he is now feverishly at work building more nukes and the missiles needed to deliver them, and as quickly as he can. Is anybody surprised?
North Korea satellite images show missile plant construction, analysts say (CNN link): North Korea appears to be finalizing the expansion of a key ballistic missile manufacturing site, according to an analysis of satellite imagery by researchers in the United States.
The images come as leaked reports from US intelligence officials appear to cast doubt on North Korea's willingness abandon its nuclear weapons program, something Washington said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to when he met US President Donald Trump in Singapore last month.
The satellite images, taken by San Francisco-based Planet Labs Inc. and analyzed by researchers at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies (MIIS) in Monterrey, show Pyongyang finishing construction at the Chemical Material Institute, which researchers say is based in the North Korean city of Hamhung.
The Chemical Material Institute is known for making carbon composite parts for solid-fueled missiles like nozzles, airframes and nosecones used in re-entry vehicles, according to David Schmerler, a research associate at MIIS.
"The Chemical Materials Institute seems like they have one function, and that's pumping out parts for their missile program," Schmerler said.
North Korea Expands Key Missile-Manufacturing Plant (Wall Street Journal link): North Korea is completing a major expansion of a key missile-manufacturing plant, said researchers who have examined new satellite imagery of the site, the latest sign Pyongyang is pushing ahead with weapons programs even as the U.S. pressures it to abandon them.
Trump said North Korea was ‘no longer a nuclear threat.’ His spies disagree (Washington Post link): Over the weekend, separate reports citing U.S. officials seemed to confirm what so many experts have long feared — that despite the overtures and sunny proclamations made at the Singapore summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Pyongyang probably has little interest in dismantling its nuclear program.
The North Koreans may have stopped missile and nuclear tests in recent months, but as one U.S. official briefed on the latest intelligence told NBC, “there's no evidence that they are decreasing stockpiles, or that they have stopped their production. There is absolutely unequivocal evidence that they are trying to deceive the U.S.”
North Korea has increased nuclear production at secret sites, say U.S. officials (NBC News link): U.S. intelligence agencies believe that North Korea has increased its production of fuel for nuclear weapons at multiple secret sites in recent months — and that Kim Jong Un may try to hide those facilities as he seeks more concessions in nuclear talks with the Trump administration, U.S. officials told NBC News.
The intelligence assessment, which has not previously been reported, seems to counter the sentiments expressed by President Donald Trump, who tweeted after his historic June 12 summit with Kim that "there was no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea."
Analysts at the CIA and other intelligence agencies don't see it that way, according to more than a dozen American officials who are familiar with their assessments and spoke on the condition of anonymity. They see a regime positioning itself to extract every concession it can from the Trump administration — while clinging to nuclear weapons it believes are essential to survival.
Mod: Wednesday is the 4th of July. It is a good time to contemplate the very real possibility that we now have a president who is a bit of a chump.