North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump pledged to work toward denuclearization at their landmark June summit in Singapore but the agreement was short on specifics and negotiations have made little headway.
In a tweet, the commander in chief called the Times report "inaccurate" and "Fake News", and claimed US officials "fully know about the sites being discussed, nothing new - and nothing happening out of the normal". "I will be the first to let you know if things go bad!" the president tweeted.
In reports released by the Washington-based think tank Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), researchers said maintenance and minor infrastructure improvements had been observed at some of the sites.
But North Korea analysts told The Washington Times on Tuesday that the missile sites and activities outlined in the report could provide more incentive for the administration to increase pressure on the Kim regime in ongoing talks toward a verifiable, step-by-step denuclearization pact with Pyongyang.
The abrupt cancellation of high-level talks between the United States and North Korea suggests denuclearization negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have hit a snag, experts said.
Since then, negotiations between the USA and North Korea have stuttered.
Trump, however, told a news conference last week that he was in "no rush" on North Korea after a senior delegation abruptly canceled a meeting planned with Pompeo in NY.
Marie Harf questioned if North Korea has given anything up, noting that they still have missiles and are just not testing them.
"Rather than returning to an operating base - which will undoubtedly be the target of repeated attacks - both the technical support element and launchers will remain in the field using pre-positioned reloads and supplies while moving frequently to different pre-surveyed locations", the report said.
Less disputable is that North Korea could quickly assault South Korea, including its capital Seoul, and Japan in a crisis.
"There is a phrase, 'great deception, ' used in articles, but North Korea has never promised to shut down this missile base", said Kim, the South Korean spokesman, referring to one of the facilities, Sakkanmol, mentioned by CSIS.
Kim said such suggestions can "trigger misunderstanding and potentially block dialogue ... at a time when we need dialogue between North Korea and the United States".
Sakkanmol, the site closest to the border with South Korea and its capital, Seoul, appears to be "active and being reasonably well maintained", the report found.
SEOUL-Analysts say North Korea still sees its nuclear arsenal as a key tool in securing its national safety and winning concessions from global rivals.
The Sakkanmol base in North Hwanghae Province now houses a unit equipped with short-range ballistic missiles but could easily accommodate medium-range ballistic missiles, the report claimed.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was scheduled to meet with Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the North Korean Central Committee, in New York City last week.
"I continue to believe that Pyongyang does not intend to give up its nuclear weapons capability", said Revere.
While US sanctions on North Korea remain in place, enforcement by traditional trading partners China and Russian Federation has relaxed since the Singapore summit, US officials have acknowledged.