North Korea Mulls Ways To 'Conceal' Nuclear Weapons From U.S

Arturo Kim
July 2, 2018

According to the report, intelligence officials have obtained new evidence collected in the wake of the landmark June 12 summit in Singapore between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un which points to secret production facilities and efforts to conceal ongoing weapons creation - implying Pyongyang is aiming to hide plans to continue its nuclear program from the US, having made contrary, if ambiguous, commitments to Washington.

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton has publicly revealed Washington's timeline for decnulearizing North Korea.

Bolton told CBS's "Face the Nation" that Washington has devised a programme to dismantle North Korea's weapons of mass destruction - chemical, biological and nuclear - and ballistic missile programs in a year, if there is full cooperation and disclosure from Pyongyang.

"Physically we would be able to dismantle the overwhelming bulk of their programs within a year".

He said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will likely discuss that proposal with the North Koreans soon. The Financial Times reported that Pompeo was due to visit North Korea this week but the State Department has not confirmed any travel plans.

In a Fox News interview which aired Sunday, President Trump, insisted that North Korea was serious about a deal, defended his summit spectacle in Singapore, and claimed that he gave nothing to Kim - despite the fact that he made a major concession by agreeing to end joint military exercises with South Korea.

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"There are lots of things that we know that North Korea has tried to hide from us for a long time", one USA official said.

Officials say North Korea plans to keep the United States in the dark about how many warheads it has, how much fissile material is in its possession and where all of its nuclear facilities are located.

Kim is the United States ambassador to the Philippines and has been one of the key U.S. officials dealing with the North Koreans leading up to the Trump-Kim summit.

"The observed activity appears inconsistent with a North Korean intent to abandon its nuclear weapons programs", Bruce Klingner, a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst and North Korea expert at the Heritage Foundation, told NBC.

On June 28, China and Russian Federation distributed the draft of a press statement calling on members of the U.N. Security Council to relax sanctions against North Korea - a move believed to have been made in response to Kim's request. If the leak was authorized, however, that could mean that the Trump administration is working to highlight and leverage North Korea's bad faith ahead of additional negotiations. While American officials believe North Korea has amassed some 65 warheads, it seems North Korea will declare far fewer.

The president also made it sound as though the had made a real deal with Kim, when all they actually did was sign a vague mutual commitment to denuclearization. Last summer, during his first one-on-one meeting with Putin, in Hamburg, Trump said that he questioned him about the interference accusations and that the Russian leader denied it.

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