NYC rendezvous for Trump and Kim

North Korea unwilling to reveal total nuclear warhead.. arsenal, production facilities, says US intelligence

North Korea unwilling to reveal total nuclear warhead.. arsenal, production facilities, says US intelligence

USA ambassador to the Philippines, Sung Kim, led a delegation Sunday to Panmunjom, the border village in the DMZ, to discuss next steps on implementation of the joint declaration signed at the June 12 summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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

The State Department said Pompeo would head on Saturday from Pyongyang to Tokyo, where he would discuss North Korean denuclearization with Japanese and South Korean leaders.

In both trips, the chief US diplomat met with the North's leader.

Sung Kim, an ambassador to South Korea between 2011 and 2014 and a nuclear negotiator with the North during previous talks, has taken on a key role in dialogue with Pyongyang in recent months. The country appears to be ramping up production of both nuclear fuel and ballistic missile components, according to multiple reports.

The Washington Post on Saturday cited unnamed USA intelligence officials as concluding that North Korea does not intend to fully surrender its nuclear stockpile.

Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, called the report very troubling. Collins stressed the need for "verifiable, unimpeded, reliable inspections" of the North's weapons programs.

This source said that they are unaware of any new projects the North Koreans may be working on, but reiterated that "they have given nothing up".

Last week, 38 North, a website run by the Johns Hopkins University, said satellite imagery showed the North had been upgrading its Yongbyon nuclear complex. She declined to confirm or deny recent media reports of intelligence assessments saying North Korea has been expanding its weapons capabilities.

The U.S. administration insists it has a plan for rapid denuclearization of the North and has defended the diplomatic process, which has tamped down tensions after more than a year of missile and nuclear tests and saber rattling that raised fears of a new war.

Mr Pompeo's visit follows the historic summit between Kim and President Donald Trump in June.

"None of this activity technically violates any agreement Kim may have made", said Vipin Narang, an associate professor at MIT's security studies Programme. "I really believe he means it", the president said on Fox News Channel's "Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo". "Now is it possible?"

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to North Korea Thursday to continue negotiations on dismantling the regime's nuclear weapons program, the White House said.

"I'm sure that the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, will be discussing this with the North Koreans in the near future", Bolton said Sunday on the CBS news program "Face the Nation". "If they have the strategic decision already made to do that, and they're cooperative, we can move very quickly", he added.

But that vague statement bypassed crucial details about how and when North Korea would proceed with its denuclearization pledge.

Still, there are gestures both sides could make to build trust along the lines of the USA president's unilateral decision to suspend joint military exercises with South Korea planned for August. "They didn't even commit to freezing the program", he said.

Kim pointed out that the workers are just complaining about lack of money and materials, not focusing on normalizing and modernizing its facilities.

United States 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.

Patrick Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, said USA and South Korea officials had told him Pompeo would be seeking to agree to "a specific denuclearization road map, or at least significant dismantlement steps that could fill in a roadmap".

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