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Pompeo to Visit Pyongyang to Discuss Denuclearization Timetable

05 July 2018

The White House refused to comment on media reports saying North Korea was planning to hide its nuclear weapons and missiles programme.

The network cited U.S. officials as saying that the intelligence assessment concludes that North Korea has more than one secret nuclear site in addition to its known nuclear fuel production facility at Yongbyon. It will not be possible for inspectors, especially in an adversarial environment, to get unfettered access to all of North Korea's facilities to verify that it has not secretly kept a few nuclear weapons, a few kilograms of plutonium, or one or more covert uranium centrifuge facilities.

US President Donald Trump is reportedly seeking to hold a second meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in September, this time in NY. The process could be coordinated through high-level, three-party consultations involving the United States, South Korea, and North Korea.

For this to happen, Pyongyang would first have to agree to halt, roll back, and eliminate its existing nuclear weapons and its military nuclear program. Saying there were no concessions made by Washington, President Trump also highlighted that he envisions a great future for North Korea.

In a Sunday interview with Fox News, President Trump said North Korea is (quote) "very serious" about denuclearization. But recently disclosed information has contradicted that claim.

Bruce Klingner is with the Heritage Foundation, a research group in Washington, D.C. He said satellite images show that North Korea has expanded a nuclear center and a missile production center.

Patrick Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, said USA and South Korea officials had told him Pompeo would be seeking to agree to "a specific denuclearisation road map, or at least significant dismantlement steps that could fill in a roadmap".

But U.S. intelligence is reporting signs that Pyongyang doesn't intend to fully give up its arsenal. The State Department said it could not confirm it and did not comment on matters of intelligence.

The United States is offering to lift economic sanctions on North Korea if it follows through on getting rid of its nuclear program.

"Many good conversations with North Korea-it is going well!" he tweeted.

North Korea has consistently refused in past rounds of failed negotiations to provide an inventory of its weapons program, and USA intelligence remains uncertain of how many nuclear warheads North Korea has.

Bolton said the U.S.is "going to try and proceed to implement what the two leaders agreed to in Singapore", specifically "how to dismantle all of their WMD and ballistic missile programs in a year". "There will be no surprises in terms of what we are asking them to do".

Bolton said North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members' failure to live up their defense spending commitments does far more to damage the alliance than anything Trump has said. "The hard work is yet to come", he told The Washington Times. In each of his two previous trips, he met with Kim.

A US delegation led by USA ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim met with North Korean counterparts at Panmunjom on the border between North and South Korea on Sunday to discuss next steps on the implementation of the summit declaration, the State Department said.

Pressure will now be on Pompeo to make progress in negotiations with North Korea to turn the summit declaration into concrete action.

The North and South will play four games during the two-day event.

Hong said Pyongyang is expected to tell Pompeo what disarmament steps it will take over the next six to 12 months, such as shutting down its plutonium-producing reactor and uranium-enrichment plant at its main nuclear complex. So I asked Joel Wit, who's the head of 38 North, what kind of guests might you expect there. The Defense Intelligence Agency is at the high end with an estimate of about 50, but all the agencies believe Pyongyang is concealing an unknown number, especially smaller tactical ones, in caves and other underground facilities around the country. Trump increasingly hit back with his own rhetoric since taking office past year.

A bad outcome for South Korea and Japan would be Trump agreeing to a deal that removes North Korea's long-range missiles that pose a direct threat to continental United States, but leaves Kim's shorter arsenal mostly intact.

Pompeo to Visit Pyongyang to Discuss Denuclearization Timetable