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N. Korea aiming to hide ongoing nuclear production

02 July, 2018, 09:56 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Angela Merkel

US President Donald Trump (R) and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shake hands following a signing ceremony during their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

Joel Wit, a former diplomat who helped the USA negotiate with North Korea including a nuclear agreement between the US and the regime in 1994, said the USA believed the rogue regime had two sites to "enrich nuclear fuel" including Yongbyon and another, but the name of the center was not revealed.

"If they have the strategic decision already made to do that, and they're cooperative we can move very quickly", he said, adding, "It's to North Korea's advantage to see these programs dismantled very quickly" to speed the elimination of worldwide sanctions and clear the way for foreign aid.

A team of USA officials led by envoy Sung Kim met with North Korean officials Sunday at Panmunjom, the border village between North and South Korea in the demilitarized zone, senior State Department officials told CNN.

But the Singapore meeting failed to clearly define denuclearization or produce a specific timeline toward dismantling the North's atomic weapons arsenal.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo congratulated Harry Harris, 61, in a tweet published on Saturday afternoon, saying that "a lot of work ahead" waiting for Harris, including the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

"There's no evidence that they are decreasing stockpiles, or that they have stopped their production", one USA official told NBC. Like many North Korea observers, he has been skeptical of Pyongyang's sincerity about denuclearization and has pointed out that the administration faces considerable challenges and questions on the issue following the Trump-Kim summit. Officials in Pyongyang are seeking to obfuscate the true number of their weapons facilities, and U.S. intelligence officials believe that more than just one hidden site exists.

"Work is ongoing to deceive us on the number of facilities, the number of weapons, the number of missiles", the official said.

During his big Fox News interview with Maria Bartiromo, President Donald Trump talked again about his relationship with Kim Jong Un.

It said the findings support a new, previously undisclosed Defense Intelligence Agency estimate that North Korea is unlikely to denuclearize.

The White House declined to comment on the report. "North Korea remains free to manufacture more nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles and other weapons of mass destruction - even though it has unilaterally frozen testing of its nuclear weapons and certain ballistic missiles".

"I'll make my utmost efforts", Xi responded, according to the sources. "I really believes he means it".

Last week, Trump underscored the point of "total denuclearization", while noting that it "has already started taking place".

"I think it would be inappropriate and, frankly, counterproductive to achieving the end state that we're hoping to achieve", Pompeo said. "We had a very good chemistry".

"It would be physically possible to dismantle the bulk of North Korea's programs within a year", said Thomas Countryman, the State Department's top arms control officer under President Barack Obama.

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