Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Experts see risks in United States plan to dismantle NKorea's nukes

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un smiles during a visit to the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defence Science in Hamhung North Korean leader Kim Jong-un smiles during a visit to the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defence Science in Hamhung Credit Reuters
Elijah Vega | 06 July, 2018, 22:53

North Korea continued to expand one of its missile plants during the weeks leading up its summit with the USA last month, according to an analysis of satellite imagery by researchers in the U.S. USA officials have said that North Korea has already identified about 200 sets of remains that could be quickly recovered.

North Korea is considering ways to hide the number of nuclear weapons it has and its secret production facilities, a media report claimed Sunday.

Pompeo told reporters the day after the Singapore summit on 12 June that Washington hoped to achieve "major disarmament" by North Korea within Trump's current term, which ends on 20 January 2021.

The White House has characterized ongoing meetings as positive but not commented on recent news reports of us intelligence assessments saying North Korea has been expanding its weapons capabilities.

The top US diplomat is expected to discuss with North Korean officials concrete measures that would see Pyongyang relinquish its nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles and possibly other weapons of mass destruction.

He said the administration was well aware of North Korea's track record over the decades in dragging out negotiations with the U.S.to continue weapons development.

John Bolton, Trump's national security advisor, said on Sunday that the United States plans for North Korea to dismantle its chemical, biological, nuclear, and ballistic missile programs in a year's time. 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.

"We have developed a program ... about really how to dismantle all of their WMD and ballistic missile programs in a year", Bolton said.

NY is looming as the next meeting place for Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. And it is to North Korea's advantage to dismantle very quickly.

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"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.

If Kim cooperates, Mr Bolton said, the process would happen quickly.

A group of male and female South Korean basketball players will play their North Korean counterparts in a series of games aimed at furthering the growing ties between Seoul and Pyongyang.

He said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will likely discuss that proposal with the North Koreans soon.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a noted basketball fan, didn't appear at the gymnasium on Wednesday.

He said the one-year program the U.S.is proposing would cover all of the North's chemical and biological weapons, nuclear programs and ballistic missiles.

Satellite photos also show North Korea is working on expanding a factory that produces parts for nuclear-capable missiles, the Associated Press reported.

Nauert similarly dodged a question on the specific timeline imposed on North Korea regarding getting rid of its illegal nuclear weapons program.

"There was a buzz when I shared a glass of soju and talked with Ri Myong Hun in 2003", Hur said.

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