N Korea nuclear program can be dismantled in a year: Bolton

Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump last month.   Getty

Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump last month. Getty

Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, said he had heard from US and South Korea officials that Pompeo was expected to return to Pyongyang at the end of this week and that Sung Kim was working to prepare the way for that trip. There, he will also co-host a meeting of the global coalition against the Islamic State group.

A team of USA officials led by envoy Sung Kim met with North Korean officials Sunday at Panmunjom, the border village between North and South Korea in the demilitarized zone, in the first face-to-face conversations between the two countries since the summit last month according senior State Department officials.

In a 1½-page joint statement signed at the June 12 summit, Kim "reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", while Trump pledged to provide security guarantees for the North.

But U.S. intelligence is reporting signs that Pyongyang doesn't intend to fully give up its arsenal.

It said Kim set forth detailed tasks and ways for modernizing the mill, saying, "To radically develop the textile industry is very important in making a breakthrough for the improvement of people's standard of living". Bolton said this kind of speculation wasn't helpful to the negotiation process. 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.

U.S. defense analysts have said North Korea retains as many as 60 nuclear bombs and a range of missiles. "The [North Koreans'] insistence on vague language in the Singapore declaration was nearly certainly so that they could continue accelerated development of nuclear facilities", Robert E. Kelly, professor of political science at Pusan National University, told me on Monday.

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.

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. Reports suggest the North Korean leader is continuing with his nuclear program despite the president claiming, "There is no longer a nuclear threat". Some experts think Kim is modeling his country's nuclear future after Pakistan, which began building a nuclear arsenal in the 1990s to deter India and is now estimated to have more than 100 warheads that are deliverable by short- and medium-range weapons and aircraft. In North Korea, "running it tough" means executing dissidents, torturing political prisoners in gulags and threatening to wipe a few US cities off the map with a nuclear blast.

Has the Trump administration fully de-linked China's cooperation on North Korea from trade?

The national security adviser added that "there's nobody involved in this discussion with North Korea in the administration who is overburdened by naïveté". Now that we have concluded the U.S.

TRUST BUT VERIFY Siegfried Hecker, a nuclear scientist and Stanford University professor, has predicted it would take around 10 years to dismantle and clean up a substantial part of North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear site.

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