US Accuses North Korea of Not Moving Toward Denuclearization

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton accused North Korea Tuesday of failing to move ahead with denuclearization pledged by Pyongyang leader Kim Jong Un at his Singapore summit in June with U.S. President Donald Trump.

“What we really need is not more rhetoric,” Bolton said in an interview on Fox News. “What we need is performance from North Korea on denuclearization.”

He said that since the summit, North Korea “has not taken the steps we feel are necessary to denuclearize.”

Bolton said the U.S. is not considering relaxation of its economic sanctions against Pyongyang.

The key White House official said that Trump, in a recent letter to Kim, proposed sending U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo back to the North Korean capital for further talks. Trump also said he was willing to hold a second summit with Kim.

It was the second time in three days that Bolton expressed irritation at Pyongyang’s slow moves in implementing Kim’s vague pledge to Trump to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. His attacks came as U.S. news reports said North Korea was continuing to build missiles and produce plutonium.

Bolton said Trump is giving Kim ample time to move toward denuclearization, which Trump administration officials are hopeful of completing by the end of the president’s first term in the White House in early 2021.

Source : VOA


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Pompeo in Malaysia for Talks on Free Trade, North Korea

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Malaysia, the first stop of an Asia tour expected to focus on promoting free trade and pressuring North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

“We do have concerns about North Korea bypassing some of those sanctions, not adhering to its own obligations, so the secretary will use these opportunities to remind all of that obligation to stick to the sanctions as a means to get to the ultimate objective: the fully verified, finally fully verified denuclearization of North Korea,” the official said.

Since President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June, U.S. officials have been optimistic that Pyongyang will give up its nuclear weapons, though there is no evidence the North has begun that process.

Concerns over ongoing nuclear and missile activity in North Korea surged after The Washington Post reported Tuesday that U.S. intelligence officials believe Pyongyang is continuing to build new missiles in the same research facility it used to build intercontinental missiles capable of reaching the East Coast of the United States.

During his visit Pompeo will press countries to keep up pressure on North Korea via sanctions, according to a senior State Department official who briefed reporters during the flight to Kuala Lumpur.

During his meetings with ASEAN counterparts in Singapore later this week, Pompeo is also expected to discuss conflicts in the South China Sea, the Rohingya crisis in Rakhine state in Myanmar, and cybersecurity.

Source : VOA


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US Spy Agencies Say North Korea Building New Missiles

The Washington Post is reporting that U.S. spy agencies are seeing indications that North Korea is constructing new missiles.

The paper says intelligence officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, say North Korea is likely constructing at least one and possibly two missiles at a large research facility in Sanumdong.

The Post says new evidence, including satellite photographs, indicate the missiles are liquid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missiles and are being constructed at a factory that produced North Korea’s first such missile capable of reaching the United States.

The paper says the new intelligence does not indicate that North Korea has expanded it capabilities, but rather that it is continuing to work on advanced weapons in the weeks following the Singapore summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Intelligence officials told the Post that while operations continue at the Sanumdong plant, work has come to a halt at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station on North Korea’s northwest coast, where workers can be observed dismantling an engine test stand.

The paper, however, said many analysts and independent experts see the dismantling at Sohae as largely symbolic, and say the test stand could easily be rebuilt within months.

Source : voanews


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