Thursday, 19 July, 2018

US plans for dismantling North Korea nukes may face resistance

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un smiles during a visit to the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defence Science in Hamhung North Korean leader Kim Jong-un smiles during a visit to the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defence Science in Hamhung Credit Reuters
Faye Gross | 07 July, 2018, 01:26

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo should be prepared to welcome such steps, but not as a substitute for progress in achieving the complete, verifiable, irreversible disarmament of North Korea's illicit programs.

An NBC News report on Friday quoted US officials saying USA intelligence agencies believe North Korea has increased production of fuel for nuclear weapons at multiple secret sites in recent months and may try to hide these while seeking concessions in talks with the United States.

Asked about the US diplomat's visit, Kim Eui-keum, a spokesman for South Korea's presidential Blue House, said Seoul was aware of the meeting but that it would be inappropriate to comment further.

The Washington Post reported on Saturday that USA intelligence officials had concluded that North Korea did not intend to fully give up its nuclear arsenal and is considering ways to hide the number of weapons it has.

Trump's national security adviser John Bolton, who has taken a hardline on the reclusive country, recently said in a media interview that the USA has a plan that would lead to the dismantling of North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs in a year.

But the continued talks come as reports from United States intelligence agencies reveal that Pyongyang is continuing to work on its nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile systems while engaging in negotiations.

"We would be able to dismantle the overwhelming bulk of their programmes within a year", Bolton said.

However, Jackson said, Sung Kim's involvement with what he saw as a disappointing summit in Singapore showed the limits of this approach. That is where all six of North Korea's nuclear tests had been carried out.

US President Donald Trump said the United States would be at war with North Korea "if not for me" and his relationship with leader Kim Jong Un - even as reports say the regime continues to work to develop its nuclear arsenal.

Serena Williams beats Mladenovic to give notice that comeback title is on
In a match full of big swings, Keys led 5-2 in the first set before Rodina won the next nine games to go 4-0 up in the second. Stan Wawrinka also exited, losing to Italian qualifier Thomas Fabbiano 7-6 (7) 6-3 7-6 (6).


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a noted basketball fan, didn't appear at the gymnasium on Wednesday. Bolton said it would be to the North's advantage to cooperate to see sanctions lifted quickly and aid from South Korea and Japan begin to flow into the country.

In a Sunday interview with Fox News, President Trump said North Korea is (quote) "very serious" about denuclearization.

In other words, the sequencing of the joint statement gave priority first to improving bilateral relations, and then to denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. Team Prosperity defeated Team Peace 103-102, with North Korea's Ro Suk Yong scoring 18 points, according to pool reports. "If they have the strategic decision already made to do that and they are cooperative, we can move very quickly".

"The Chemical Materials Institute seems like they have one function, and that's pumping out parts for their missile program", Schmerler said.

"I don't think it could be done during Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang this time", he said.

A strategy by David Albright at the Institute for Science and International Security suggests the USA needs to get Kim to disclose a complete list of all his nuclear program sites and materials, including uranium and plutonium.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

North Korea's sports minister, Kim Il Guk, said in a speech that the games reflect the "revered determination of the leaders of the North and South to bring forward the future of a self-reliant unification".

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