About that Singapore Summit: Kim expands major missile plant anyway

About that Singapore Summit: Kim expands major missile plant anyway

The meeting, which would come three months after President Donald Trump's historic Singapore summit with Kim, would coincide with the United Nations General Assembly's annual summit in New York City.

What he meant, Nauert said, was that compared to one year ago, when North Korea launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile, "We're in a good spot today".

Seoul was also anxious about American sanctions on the North because the United States bans any vessel or aircraft that has visited North Korea from landing in the United States for 180 days, said the official.

NBS News reported that US officials think Kim Jong Un has actually increased its production of fuel for nuclear weapons at hidden facilities, despite the leader's landmark summit with the US President last month.

But it's still unclear whether Pyongyang would agree to that.

North Korea has consistently refused in past rounds of failed negotiations to provide an inventory of its weapons program and USA intelligence remains uncertain of how many nuclear warheads North Korea has.

"The expansion suggests that, despite hopes for denuclearisation, Kim Jong-un is committed to increasing North Korea's stockpile of nuclear-armed missiles", Jeffrey Lewis and Dave Schmerler, researchers at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California, said in a post on Monday. But recently disclosed information has contradicted that claim.

Satellite imagery and USA intelligence officials, contradict that assertion, revealing evidence of recent work at multiple secret sites in North Korea connected to the country's production of enriched uranium for nuclear weapons. Evidence collected since the summit points to preparations to deceive the USA about the number of nuclear warheads in North Korea's arsenal as well as the existence of undisclosed facilities used to make fissile material for nuclear bombs, according to the report. The official was not authorized to comment publicly on the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.

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Although Kim has pledged to halt nuclear-weapons tests and demolished a facility used for all six of the country's atomic bomb detonations, he has said nothing about production and made no commitment to unilaterally disarm.

Weeks after calling questions about the vague statement signed by the U.S. and North Korea at a landmark June 12 summit "insulting and ridiculous and frankly ludicrous", USA secretary of state Mike Pompeo is on a plane to Pyongyang to figure out what was agreed to.

Even that was viewed as bullish by nonproliferation experts considering the scale of North Korea's weapons program and its history of evasion and reluctance to allow verification of disarmament agreements. "We aren't going to confirm or deny any intelligence reports".

In the joint statement, North Korea committed to work toward "complete denuclearization" and the U.S. promised a security guarantee for the reclusive regime.

On Saturday, he visited a reed farm in Sindo county, also on the Sino-North Korea border.

This marked the third day in a row that the North Korean media has reported on Mr Kim's on-site inspections. A lot of work is left to be done certainly.

Pompeo will visit Pyongyang for two days before heading to Tokyo to meet with South Korean and Japanese officials, according to State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert. "But the secretary - we're all keeping a close eye - the USA government is keeping a close eye on North Korea - and the secretary has been very clear and very blunt with the North Koreans about what he expects".