US Reveals Plan for Dismantling NKorea Nuke Amid Questions over Hidden Stockpile

Saul Bowman
July 3, 2018

The State Department said Pompeo would leave North Korea on Saturday for Tokyo and hold talks with Japanese and South Korean officials.

The trip to Pyongyang will be Pompeo's second as top USA diplomat and the first by a senior US official since Trump's historic meeting with Kim Jong Un in Singapore last month.

In a sign the two sides are stepping up diplomacy, the US ambassador to the Philippines, Sung Kim, led a delegation to the tense border area on Sunday in the highest-level meeting with the North since the June 12 summit.

"We're very well aware of North Korea's patterns of behavior over decades of negotiating with the United States", Bolton said".

The latest visit comes as the Trump administration seeks agreement with Pyongyang on an acceptable denuclearisation plan.

It will be Pompeo's first visit to North Korea since an unprecedented June 12 summit between President Donald Trump and Kim where the North Korean leader agreed to "work toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

The US network, citing intelligence officials, said North Korea's regime was readying to "extract every concession" from the White House rather than giving up its atomic arsenal.

"We know exactly what the risks are - them using negotiations to drag out the length of time they have to continue their nuclear, chemical, biological weapons programs and ballistic missiles", he said.

According to reports in South Korea, Sung Kim met with North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Choi Sun Hee at Panmunjom for an hour and a half Sunday.

The meeting comes amid growing scrutiny of Pyongyang's commitment to denuclearization and as joint efforts to repatriate the remains of USA troops from North Korea are taking longer than many anticipated. "Then the elimination of sanctions, aid by South Korea and Japan and others can all begin to flower", Bolton said.

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

Satellite images taken nine days after the Singapore summit showed North Korea continuing to build on the infrastructure at a key nuclear reactor.

Kim made the request during his third meeting with Xi in Beijing last month, and the Chinese president promised to do his "utmost" to satisfy it, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that new satellite images show the North is completing a major expansion of a plant that makes solid-fuel ballistic missiles and re-entry vehicles for warheads that could potentially be used to strike the United States. "I really believe he means it".

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.

USA officials have been vague or dismissive when asked whether Pyongyang has provided a full and detailed accounting of its nuclear program and arsenal - a requirement if monitors are to reliably monitor its destruction.

"This is not like North Korea cheating or deceiving the USA because they've made no commitments".

Even if North Korea is cooperative, the magnitude of dismantling its weapons of mass destruction programs, believed to encompass dozens of sites, will be tough, according to Stanford University academics, including nuclear physicist Siegfried Hecker, a leading expert on the North's nuclear program. "Physically we would be able to dismantle the overwhelming bulk of their programs within a year".

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