North Korea is not denuclearizing. Yet

North Korea is not denuclearizing. Yet

USA officials, led by Ambassador Sung Kim, met with their North Korean counterparts Sunday at the demilitarized zone that divides North and South Korea, the first such meeting since the Singapore summit.

According to NBC, which spoke to US officials familiar with intelligence assessments of North Korean denuclearization, the Kim regime has only stopped its missile and nuclear tests.

As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepares to travel this week to North Korea, experts cautioned that the Trump administration's plan to dismantle the North's nuclear weapons and missiles in a year is both unrealistic and risky.

"The expansion suggests that, despite hopes for denuclearization, Kim Jong Un is committed to increasing North Korea's stockpile of nuclear-armed missiles", Jeffrey Lewis and Dave Schmerler said.

It seems North Korea is only speeding up the pace at which it can build more nuclear weapons.

Based on recent satellite imagery from Planet Labs, the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in the US discovered that the North was completing a major expansion of a missile plant in Hamhung, South Hamgyong Province in the run-up to the U.S.

US officials caution Kim would have to show progress in denuclearizing before a meeting could be arranged.

Appearing on CBS's Face the Nation, Bolton said he did not want to comment on the reports or on "anything related to intelligence" - NBC having quoted more than a dozen senior U.S. intelligence officials and the Post four.

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The factory in question produces wound-filament airframes and nozzles for engines used in solid-fuel missiles, particularly the Pukguksong series of rockets, the report said.

Pompeo is due in North Korea for talks on a nuclear deal later this week, and his spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the issue came up in his conversation with Lavrov, along with the war in Syria and preparations for Trump's July 16 summit in Helsinki with Russia's President Vladimir Putin.

Patrick Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Centre for a New American Security, said US 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 road map".

Read the full report at the New York Post.

Sanders said she would not confirm or deny recent media reporting of intelligence assessments that have cast doubt on North Korea's willingness to give up a nuclear weapons program.

The specific wording said North Korea would "work towards" denuclearization. And with US-South Korean military exercises canceled, and Chinese and South Korean sanctions easing, the North Koreans have no immediate incentive to take that step. Collins stressed the need for "verifiable, unimpeded, reliable inspections" of the North's weapons programs.

"There's not any starry-eyed feeling among the group doing this", he said.

"If they have the strategic decision already made to do that and they're cooperative, we can move very quickly". "Secondly, they likely targeted (Trump), asking if he was deceived by North Korea because no progress has been reported in the three weeks after the summit". "We are going to pursue this, and we will see what happens".

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