USA officials, led by Ambassador Sung Kim, 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.
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.
After Pompeo's third trip to Pyongyang wraps up, he will visit Japan to brief government officials on the progress of talks on the United States' "shared commitment to the final, fully verified denuclearization" of the North, according to the State Department.
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.
The Washington Post reported Saturday that us intelligence officials had concluded that North Korea did not intend to fully give up its nuclear arsenal and is considering ways to hide the number of weapons it has.
Immediately following the summit, Trump also announced the US was canceling a major joint military exercise with South Korea scheduled for August, Ulchi Freedom Guardian - even calling it a "war game", and "provocative" - the same language used by North Korea and China. "And it is to North Korea's advantage to dismantle very quickly".
The Washington Post reported us intelligence officials believe North Korea does not intend to fully give up its nuclear stockpile. Thanks to an incredible new report published Friday by NBC News, it seems the hermit kingdom is increasing the production of fuel for more nuclear weapons.
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This comes on top of a Washington Post report that us intelligence believes the North Koreans are planning to hide the number of warheads in their arsenal. The official was not authorized to comment publicly on the matter and requested anonymity. "I think they want to do it".
He said: "We know exactly what the risks are of them using negotiations to drag out the length of time they have to continue their nuclear chemical biological weapons programs and ballistic missiles".
The US State Department on Tuesday declined to specify a time frame for dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear program as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to travel to Pyongyang to discuss the communist state's denuclearization later this week.
Even that was viewed as bullish by non-proliferation experts considering the scale of North Korea's weapons program and its history of evasion and reluctance to allow verification of disarmament agreements.
Ahead of a new round of high-level denuclearization talks with North Korea, President Trump rebuked critics of the negotiations and declared Tuesday that he had already avoided war with the Communist regime. "I really believe he means it", the president said on Fox News Channel's "Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo".
"If not for me, we would now be at war with North Korea!"
But Pentagon spokesperson Col. Rob Manning told reporters Monday he was unaware of a timeline for any transfer, saying US diplomats are still working with North Korea.
Asked about the US diplomat's visit, Kim Eui-keum, a spokesman for South Korea's Blue House, said that they were aware of the meeting but that it would be inappropriate to comment further.