Published: Fri, July 06, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Bolton: US has plan to dismantle N. Korea nuclear program in year

Bolton: US has plan to dismantle N. Korea nuclear program in year

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.

Pompeo has twice traveled to Pyongyang in recent months, once as Central Intelligence Agency chief and another time as secretary of state, meeting with Kim both times.

In other news reports, American intelligence officials have said the North is seeking to mislead the United States about how many weapons it has.

The president was referring to the talks that Sung Kim, the USA ambassador to the Philippines, and his delegation had with North Korean officials over the weekend in Panmunjom, a village on the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas.

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.

Doubts over North Korea's intentions have deepened amid reports that it is continuing to produce fissile material for weapons.

After the June summit, President Trump tweeted, "There is no longer a nuclear threat".

"All of Asia is thrilled".

"Our goal remains the final, fully-verified denuclearization of the DPRK, as agreed to by Chairman Kim in Singapore", the official said in an emailed statement, which referred to the initials of North Korea's official name: the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton speaks during a press conference in Moscow, on June 27, 2018.

"It's to North Korea's advantage to see these programs dismantled very quickly, because then the elimination of sanctions, aid by South Korea and Japan and others can all begin to flow", he said on US TV.

"To prove North Korea's willingness to denuclearize, at the minimum, there should be an agreement on the basic roadmap on denuclearization of North Korea - the definition, timeframe and verification procedures and the ways to guarantee the North Korean regime", said Park Won-gon, a professor at Handong Global University.

"This is not like North Korea cheating or deceiving the USA because they've made no commitments".

Some experts have said a one-year program would be hard, with Stanford University's Siegfried Hecker, a leading expert on the North's nuclear program, proposing a 10-year roadmap instead. "If it's our going-in position, it's fine. One, in the last eight months you haven't seen missile launches", she added, referring to North Korea's former habit of provocatively testing ballistic missiles.

The White House refused to comment on media reports saying North Korea was planning to hide its nuclear weapons and missiles programme. Some aspects of the updated intelligence were reported Friday by NBC News. USA intelligence agencies became aware of the nuclear facility in 2010. The official was not authorized to comment publicly on the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity. But those reported activities could add to misgivings in the United States, which has seen agreements with the North flounder before, often amid allegations of evasion or cheating.

The US and North Korea have expressed different expectations for the pace and sequence of North Korea's disarmament and relief from global sanctions.

Production of nuclear fuel has also ramped up while North Korea expands and improves a ballistic missile site.

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

"If they have the strategic decision already made to do that, and they're cooperative, we can move very quickly", he told CBS' "Face the Nation" program.

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