‘North Korea nuclear programme could be gone within a year’

Geraldine Edwards
July 2, 2018

The North Koreans may have made a public show of destroying a main nuclear weapons test site before the summit and halted nuclear and missile tests, but "there's no evidence that they are decreasing stockpiles, or that they have stopped their production", a US official told NBC.

China and the USA both hope to see the Korean peninsula free of nuclear weapons.

Sunday's (July 1) report of his trip to Sinuiju, one of North Korea's earliest special economic zones, came a day after the state media reported his tour of a reed farm in the nearby Sindo county, also on the Sino-North Korea border.

"If they have the strategic decision already made to do that, and they're cooperative we can move very quickly", he said, adding, "It's to North Korea's advantage to see these programs dismantled very quickly" to speed the elimination of global sanctions and clear the way for foreign aid. Kim and Trump both signed a document on June 12 stating that Pyongyang would work toward "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

The only uranium enrichment spot North Korea has acknowledged publicly exists is Yongbyon - though reports of secret facilities have surfaced. Bolton added that it would be to the North's advantage to cooperate to see sanctions lifted quickly and aid from South Korea and Japan start to flow.

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It said the findings support a new, previously undisclosed Defense Intelligence Agency estimate that North Korea is unlikely to denuclearize.

"I made a deal with him".

That project has been in limbo since the North's execution of Kim Jong Un's uncle Jang Song Thaek in 2013. I went there. So the papers say, "He went", oh, meaning I went to Singapore.

The officials insisted on anonymity to discuss sensitive assessments about a country that has always been one of the most hard targets for spy agencies to penetrate.

Bolton agreed that North Korea "certainly" has a history of using diplomacy as a cover, but said "Kim Jong Un was very emphatic several times in Singapore that he was different from prior regimes". "If they have the strategic decision already made to do that, and they're cooperative, we can move very quickly", he added.

N Korea still building at nuclear site: Monitor
A satellite image shows what 38 North says is ongoing uranium enrichment at a North Korean nuclear facility on June 21, 2018.

Specifically, the DIA has concluded that North Korean officials are exploring ways to deceive Washington about the number of nuclear warheads, and missiles and the types and numbers of facilities they have, believing that the United States is not aware of the full range of their activities.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has attempted to walk back Trump's comments, telling a Senate panel last week that North Korea still remained a nuclear threat.

Bolton told CBS's Face the Nation that Washington has devised a programme to dismantle North Korea's weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programmes in a year.

In recent years, the United States, through imagery and computer hacking, has improved its intelligence collection in North Korea.

"We're going to try and proceed to implement what the two leaders agreed to in Singapore, but rather than have a series of reports - things are going better things are not going well, they are concealing this, they're not concealing that - really it doesn't serve the objective of advancing the negotiations", Bolton said Sunday.

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