North Korea steps up production of uranium fuel

02 July, 2018, 06:49 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet in the truce village of Panmunjom

U.S. National security adviser John Bolton listens to question as speaks to the media after his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, on June 27.

The report came as Japan finds itself under pressure to soften its hardline stance against Pyongyang following US President Donald Trump's landmark summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last month. They also pointed out that North Korea has made similar agreements in the past, only to renege. That earlier plan, not surprisingly, did not go over very well in Pyongyang, since the USA ultimately supported a regime-changing rebellion in Libya after it disarmed.

US national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday he believes that most of North Korea's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs can be dismantled within a year. Earlier this week, the monitoring group 38 North reported that North Korea had made rapid improvements to a nuclear reactor.

One official told NBC: 'There are lots of things that we know that North Korea has tried to hide from us for a long time'.

"If they have the strategic decision already made to do that, and they're cooperative we can move very quickly", he said, adding, "It's to North Korea's advantage to see these programs dismantled very quickly" to speed the elimination of worldwide sanctions and clear the way for foreign aid.

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U.S. intelligence agencies believe North Korea has increased production of fuel for nuclear weapons at multiple secret sites in recent months and may try to hide these while seeking concessions in nuclear talks with the United States, NBC News quoted USA officials as saying on Friday.

Kim, the United States ambassador to the Philippines, met with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui for working talks that were believed to be focused on setting the agenda for an upcoming visit to North Korea by Pompeo, according to reports in Yonhap News Agency and MBC television.

During the talks in Beijing, Kim once again asked Xi to stand aligned with his position that the United States should provide concessions to North Korea in a phased manner as denuclearization progresses, according to the sources.

US President Donald Trump (R) and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shake hands following a signing ceremony during their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. I got along really well with Chairman Kim.

US Defense Secretary James Mattis meanwhile has reassured key East Asian allies that the US commitment to Seoul is "ironclad" - despite Trump's unilateral suspension of military exercises with South Korea and his lauding of Kim as a "talented guy". A better way to put it might have been that the Trump administration can't have its plan foiled if it never had one in the first place.

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