We'd be at war with North Korea if it wasn't for me

Wednesday, 04 Jul, 2018

Shortly after the summit, Trump said that Kim promised to destroy a rocket test site, but observers at 38 North, which tracks North Korea's weapons program for the Stimson Center, have found no evidence this happened.

USA officials led by Ambassador Sung Kim, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's point man for negotiations with Pyongyang, 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.

A spokesman for South Korean President Moon told reporters it's "inappropriate" to comment on reports suggesting North Korea has not stopped construction at weapons facilities and intelligence matters on the whole.

US intelligence officials have separately concluded that Kim was seeking to hide his nuclear weapons stockpile and had no intention of surrendering his arsenal, NBC News reported.

The president's comments in a morning tweet followed a report Saturday in The Washington Post that USA intelligence officials have concluded that North Korea does not intend to fully surrender its nuclear arms stockpile and instead is considering ways to hide the number of weapons it has and its secret production facilities.

Just when you thought traffic in the city couldn't get any worse, the report claims that Trump may give Kim a tour of his hometown in September when the UN General Assembly meets on Manhattan's East Side.

But the Singapore meeting failed to clearly define denuclearization or produce a specific timeline toward dismantling the North's atomic weapons arsenal.

Stay informed while on the go by subscribing to the Standard Group SMS service.

It also stopped short of longstanding U.S. demands for North Korea to give up its atomic arsenal in a "verifiable" and "irreversible" way.

And now, Trump's much-touted campaign of "maximum pressure" on North Korea appears to have run its course. I made a deal with him.

"There's nobody involved in this discussion with North Korea in the administration who is overburdened by naïveté".

The interview was broadcast Sunday but taped late in the week, before the reports of North Korean cheating emerged publicly. "We're in a good spot today".

National security adviser John Bolton, who appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday, said he wouldn't comment on USA intelligence but emphasized the US will not be duped by the Kim regime, which has so often acted in bad faith. Bolton added that it would be to the North's advantage to cooperate to see sanctions lifted quickly and aid from South Korea and Japan start to flow.

Sharing Maneshi's concerns, Johnson also added, "It is evident that North Korea has not yet abandoned its nuclear weapons or existing nuclear programs, nor its missile programs". Even so, the White House extracted few genuine commitments from Pyongyang while it granted Kim a moment of legitimacy on the world stage and canceled planned military exercises with South Korea.

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

"We have developed a program", said Bolton.

Regardless of concerns, the experts also hope denuclearization will be possible.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will leave for North Korea on Thursday, seeking agreement on a plan for the country's denuclearization despite mounting doubts about Pyongyang's willingness to abandon a weapons program that threatens the United States and its allies. A lot of work is left to be done certainly. My team is already doing it.

As relations with China warm rapidly, official and unofficial cross-border business is expected to increase rapidly.

The first of the lower-level post-summit meetings between the United States and North Korea began July 1, when officials from both countries met in the village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone.