North Korea plotting to keep arsenal

North Korea plotting to keep arsenal

Kerry Wise
July 2, 2018

The officials, who spoke to the Post on condition of anonymity, said that the US Defense Intelligence Agency has concluded that North Korean officials are exploring ways to deceive Washington about the number of nuclear warheads and missiles they have, and the types and numbers of facilities they have, believing that the United States is not aware of the full range of their activities.

Bolton also said on "Face the Nation" that during the US-North Korea summit in Singapore, Kim was "very emphatic several times" about turning over the arsenal, which was a change from previous regimes.

The NBC report quoted USA officials who said they believe that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un might try to hide the facilities as he seeks more concessions in nuclear talks with the US.

Bolton said the USA has developed a program that would enable a relatively rapid dismantlement of North Korea's arsenal if the Kim regime is cooperative.

But the outlook of the North's denuclearisation efforts remain unclear at best, with the Washington Post reporting Saturday that Pyongyang plans to keep some of its nuclear stockpile and production facilities while potentially concealing them from the U.S.

"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".

On "Face the Nation" and "Fox News Sunday", Bolton refused to talk about a Washington Post report that U.S. intelligence officials have concluded North Korea does not intend to fully surrender its nuclear stockpile and is preparing to deceive the United States about the number of nuclear warheads in its arsenal and the existence of undisclosed facilities used to make fissile material.

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Pompeo told reporters the day after the Singapore summit on June 12 that Washington hoped to achieve "major disarmament" by North Korea within Trump's current term, which ends on January 20, 2021. Trump touted the agreement as a significant step toward peace in the world. "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea", Trump tweeted.

Immediately following the summit, Trump was quick to claim there was "no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea".

When grilled by lawmakers about the specifics of the administration's denuclearization plan for North Korea, Pompeo said he was "not prepared to talk about the details of the discussions that are taking place". "We're well aware of what the North Koreans have done in the past".

Another U.S. official cautioned: "Work is ongoing to deceive us on the number of facilities, the number of weapons, the number of missiles".

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. Last summer, during his first one-on-one meeting with Putin, in Hamburg, Trump said that he questioned him about the interference accusations and that the Russian leader denied it. What we are going to give is good things in the future.

Trump added, "My government will not rest until we have done everything in our power to reduce violent crime and to protect innocent life".