As US, NK resume talks, experts say speedy denuking unlikely

Arturo Kim
July 6, 2018

Bolton's remarks contradicted those of Pompeo, the point man on the talks and who had earlier said that the USA wants North Korea to take "major" nuclear disarmament steps within the next two years - before the end of Trump's first term in January 2021.

Noerper added that North Korea has made a commitment to denuclearize before the whole worldwide community.

Sung Kim, an ambassador to South Korea between 2011 and 2014 and a nuclear negotiator with the North during previous talks, has taken on a key role in dialogue with Pyongyang in recent months.

Trump tweets Tuesday that "All of Asia is thrilled" that North Korea has halted missile testing and only the "Opposition Party" Democrats, including the "Fake News" is complaining. It seems North Korea is only speeding up the pace at which it can build more nuclear weapons.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to head to North Korea soon to continue the denuclearization negotiations.

In late May, the envoy led a meeting between US officials and North Korean officials, also in the demilitarized zone, ahead of the Singapore summit.

The president would like to see these discussions move promptly to get a resolution, Bolton said, adding that this has been the advice that China's leader Xi Jinping has given to the United States as well.

But on Sunday, Mr Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, publicised an even more ambitious one-year plan that he said Mr Pompeo will be discussing with the North Koreans.

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There have been reports Kim's regime has failed to honour its denuclearisation pledge after the June 12 meeting.

The plant produces solid-fueled ballistic missiles and warhead re-entry vehicles, both of which are essential components in North Korea's development of a credible nuclear deterrent.

The Washington Post also reported on Saturday that a newly revised Defense Intelligence Agency assessment said North Korea did not intend to fully surrender its nuclear stockpile and may be looking to hide its weapons and production facilities, including secret facilities not previously disclosed.

North Korea is suspected of expanding a major missile manufacturing facility even as it pursues dialogue with the US, according to the Wall Street Journal on Sunday.

"If North Korea makes the decision to denuclearize, their ballistics programs could be dismantled in a year", she said.

While Pyongyang has stopped missile and nuclear weapons tests, "there's no evidence that they are decreasing stockpiles or that they have stopped their production", an official told NBC News in the US. "I think they want to do it", he said in an interview that aired Sunday.

If Kim does visit NY in September, it will be the longest journey he has ever taken as North Korean leader.

A June 21 satellite image of North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear reactor suggests that the country is still improving its nuclear facilities.

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