United States envoy meets North Korean officials at DMZ

Hugh Fox
July 6, 2018

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.

The talks were the first face-to-face conversations between the two countries since the summit last month between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and were held to work on implementing the agreement reached between the two leaders, the officials said.

Together these reports paint a very different picture than Trump's post-summit tweet stating that North Korea was "no longer a threat" and his comment to reporters that he had "solved" the North Korea nuclear problem. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters three weeks ago that the USA wants North Korea to take "major" nuclear disarmament steps within the next two years - before the end of Trump's first term in January 2021. "Only the Opposition Party, which includes the Fake News, is complaining". The Financial Times reported that Pompeo was due to visit North Korea this week but the State Department has not confirmed any travel plans.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly is preparing for his third trip to North Korea later this week to discuss a proposed timeline for full denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

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But new satellite imagery shows an expansion of a missile-manufacturing site capable of producing missiles that could hit USA military installations in Asia.

South Korea media reported on Sunday that Sung Kim, the USA ambassador to the Philippines, met with North Korean officials on Sunday at the border village of Panmunjom within the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas to coordinate an agenda for Pompeo's next visit to North Korea.

USA defense analysts have said North Korea retains as many as 60 nuclear bombs and a range of missiles.

Sanders said she would not confirm or deny recent media reporting of intelligence assessments that have cast doubt on North Korea's willingness to give up a nuclear weapons program.

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But NBC reported North Korea may be upping its production of weapons-grade nuclear material as secret sites.

Trump could dangle a second meeting in NY as an incentive for North Korea to follow that timeline, officials told Axios. The imagery, released July 2, shows the construction of several new buildings on the site, which North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited in August 2017 to review expansion activities. USA and North Korean officials are holding meetings on the same topic. Pressured by reporters about why "verifiable" and "irreversible" were not part of the Singapore declaration, an irritated Pompeo insisted that these demands were "in there" and that it was "silly" to ask why specific words were omitted.

The North Koreans "Don't Have any Intention of Denuclearizing".

"We know exactly what the risks are - them using negotiations to drag out the length of time they have to continue their nuclear, chemical, biological weapons programmes and ballistic missiles", he said.

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