Monday, 19 November, 2018

North Korea's Kim asked China to bring early end to sanctions: Yomiuri

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island in Singapore Senator Mocks Trump Over North Korea Nuclear Program
| 03 July, 2018, 02:26

NBC's report said North Korea has been secretly increasing production of enriched uranium for nuclear weapons at clandestine sites ― despite the vague promises made by leader Kim Jong Un during his June 12 summit in Singapore with President Donald Trump to "work towards" denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton told CBS News Sunday that the United States has a plan to dismantle North Korea's weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in the space of a year, but that Pyongyang needs to reveal any undeclared weapons sites to move forward.

North Korea is completing a major expansion of a key missile-manufacturing plant, according to new satellite pictures that have cast fresh doubt on Pyongyang's commitment to disarm despite U.S. pressure.

North Korea has yet to return the remains of U.S. soldiers who died in the country during the Korean War - an agreement reached at the summit - despite Trump's remarks last week claiming that transfers were under way, according to Pompeo on Sunday.

Reports that North Korea intends to secretly maintain some of its nuclear stockpile and production facilities raised questions Sunday about President Donald Trump's insistence that the North was "no longer a nuclear threat", after his historic summit in Singapore.

The New York Times reported Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will make his third trip to North Korea this week with a proposed schedule for that nation's disarmament.

Bolton dismissed a question about whether Trump has been more willing to criticise United States allies than authoritarian leaders of rival nations, including Putin and North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

"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.


"Now that we have put out what we know about the covert enrichment sites, we can see if the North Koreans will choose to disclose those or not".

Since then, the young North Korean leader has been on a diplomatic push, meeting with world leaders and brandishing his image as a global statesman.

The meeting Sunday comes after a string of reports over the weekend that suggested North Korea is moving ahead with its nuclear and ballistic missile programs as it pushes for sanctions relief.

'If they have the strategic decision already made to do that and they're cooperative, we can move very quickly, ' Bolton said.

"We have developed a program", Bolton said, "...about really how to dismantle all of their WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and ballistic missile programmes in a year". "North Korea has great potential for the future!" Other officials also said that while much could be accomplished in a year, verification would take far longer.

The absence of tangible progress in the weeks following the Singapore summit tested the patience of some Congress members in Mr. Trump's Republican Party and even South Korea President Moon Jae-in.

"I made a deal with him".

However, one official pointed out that, despite the assessment, the talks between the US and North Korea were positive and Kim's decision to destroy a major missile-testing site and suspend nuclear and missile tests were a step forward. "I will just say this. we are using the full range of our capabilities to understand what North Korea is doing".

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