North Korea ‘total denuclearization’ started; officials see no new moves

Saturday, 23 Jun, 2018

The resumption of the reunions was among the agreements reached between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the South's president Moon Jae-in at their landmark summit in April. Trump said afterward that he believes Kim is serious about giving up nuclear weapons and transforming his stunted economy.

In May, prior to the summit, North Korea demolished tunnels at its sole underground nuclear test site, although outsiders have not inspected the result.

"They've stopped the sending of missiles, including ballistic missiles". It could signal North Korea is willing to include a moratorium on satellite launches in addition to their missile and nuclear tests, which has been a point of contention in past agreements and derailed negotiations in the past. -North Korea relations are entirely friendly for the foreseeable future, the threat that its nuclear weapons could be mismanaged, stolen, or seized by risky groups would remain.

For China, it could be meant to strengthen its voice in the fast-paced nuclear diplomacy mostly being led by the US and South Korea, they said.

He hailed contacts between the two Koreas and the U.S.

The U.S. -based North Korea monitoring group 38 North said in an analysis at the end of last week there had been no sign of any activity toward dismantling of any missile test site.

Stella Kim reported from Seoul, and Alastair Jamieson reported from London.

The testing site in question is in Ch'olsan County, North Pyongan province, and is sometimes is referred to as the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground, according to an administration official.

The action was pro forma, but notable for the stern tone and list of accusations against North Korea just 10 days after the warm meeting between Trump and Kim.

Trump also prematurely claimed the return of remains of US servicemen missing from the 1950-53 Korean War.

Trump repeated his thanks to Chinese President Xi Jinping for supporting sanctions, although he said that the border between China and North Korea was "getting a little weaker now".

"Meanwhile, sanctions will remain in place until we are assured that complete denuclearization has been achieved", she said.

Aside from uncertainty over when North Korea will return the remains it has collected over the years, it's unclear whether all will be in a condition to permit their positive identification, or whether they all are even Americans.

Another olive branch by North Korea is bringing another win for both South Korea and the United States.

The president's comments also ran counter to remarks made by Defense Secretary James Mattis, who said he wasn't aware that North Korea had taken any steps yet toward denuclearization.

Several of the women said in May they were coerced into leaving, while South Korean officials said they were trying to verify their accounts.