North Korea just first stop on round-world trip for Pompeo


They also agreed to the recovery of remains of thousands of USA servicemembers still missing from the 1950-53 Korean War and "the immediate repatriation of those already identified".

The United States has a plan that would lead to the dismantling of North's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs in a year, US national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday.

That's far from Mr. Trump's confident tone arriving home from the summit, when he tweeted, "There is no longer a nuclear threat".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo should be prepared to welcome such steps, but not as a substitute for progress in achieving the complete, verifiable, irreversible disarmament of North Korea's illicit programs.

The U.S. State Department said Pompeo will travel to Pyongyang from July 5-7 "to continue consultations and implement the forward progress" made by U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at their summit in Singapore on June 12.

It's unclear whether Pyongyang would agree to that.

The Singapore summit concluded with a declaration signed by both heads of state that proclaimed North Korea "commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula". But recently disclosed information has contradicted that claim.

The White House also declined to comment on recent USA media reports citing anonymous intelligence officials who did not believe the DPRK would fully denuclearize and satellite imagery, which indicated Pyongyang continues to develop its weapons facilities.

A US official told The Associated Press that the Post's report was accurate and that the assessment reflected the consistent view across USA government agencies for the past several weeks. The official was not authorized to comment publicly on the matter and requested anonymity.

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The satellite images, taken by San Francisco-based Planet Labs Inc. and analyzed by researchers at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies (MIIS) in Monterrey, show Pyongyang finishing construction at the Chemical Material Institute, which researchers say is based in the North Korean city of Hamhung.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning also said that Trump's decision to suspend joint military exercises with South Korea "will not impact the capabilities and readiness of our combined forces on the peninsula in order to deal with North Korea".

While Kim has consistently said he's willing to denuclearize, long-time North Korea watchers worry that Pyongyang and Washington have very different definitions of the term denuclearization.

But US intelligence assessments suggested North Korea had deceived Mr Trump, after it was discovered he had been secretly increasing production of enriched uranium, prompting expert Gordan Chang warning the situation to be "incontrovertible".

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.

Pompeo must remember that North Korea wants to shift the focus of the discussion away from its weapons programs and toward highlighting North Korea's improving relations with the outside world. In each of his two previous trips, he met with Kim.

He is expected to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and other officials.

Klingner said the USA must learn from past mistakes. -South Korea war games.

Bolton also said the administration's plan would require the North Koreans to provide full disclosure of all their nuclear programs and ballistic missile sites, but that has not happened yet. He said North Korea's weapons program could largely be ended in a year. In Bolton's view, meeting with Kim would expose the North Korean regime as untrustworthy scoundrels who could not be swayed by diplomatic olive branches.