Trump aide says N. Korea could ditch nukes in a year


A U.S. delegation met over the weekend with North Korean counterparts at the border between North and South Korea to discuss the next steps to implementing the June 12 summit's declaration, according to the U.S. State Department. "We've seen how the North Koreans have behaved before", Bolton said.

North Korea expert David Albright, a former United Nations weapons inspector and president of the Institute for Science and International Security, said the assessments come at a time when "there's a worry that the Trump administration may go soft, and accept a deal that focuses on Yongbyon and forgets about these other sites". In late May, the envoy led a meeting between USA officials and North Korean officials, also in the demilitarized zone, ahead of the Singapore summit.

The Middlebury Institute report comes on the heels of a conclusion by US intelligence officials that North Korea is planning to hide its nuclear stockpile and production facilities, reported by the Washington Post.

Bolton said the United States was going into nuclear negotiations aware of Pyongyang's failure to live up to its promises in the past.

"There are lots of things that we know that North Korea has tried to hide from us for a long time", one USA official said.

The joint statement, however, gave no details on how and when Pyongyang would relinquish its weapons.

Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters one week after the Singapore summit that while he had not seen any indications that North Korea had dismantled its nuclear program, he "wouldn't expect that at this point" because "detailed negotiations" had not begun.

A report in Axios on Monday suggested if talks go well, Trump could invite Kim to NY in September to continue the dialogue as the UN General Assembly gets under way.

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"Kim Jong-un was very emphatic in Singapore".

Pompeo has twice traveled to Pyongyang in recent months, once as Central Intelligence Agency chief and another time as secretary of state, meeting with Kim both times.

"There will be specific asks and there will be a specific timeline when we present the North Koreans with our concept of what implementation of the summit agreement looks like", a senior USA defense official told Reuters and other reporters during Defense Secretary James N. Mattis recent trip to China.

On Sunday, Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, publicized the more ambitious one-year plan that he said Pompeo will be discussing with the North Koreans. "If they have the strategic decision already made to do that, and they're cooperative, we can move very quickly".

Others say Pompeo should aim higher and get North Korea to commit to specific disarmament timetables and a "frontloaded" abandonment of its nuclear weapons and materials at an early stage. North Korea declared on New Year's Day that it no longer needed those tests because it had perfected its nuclear weapons program.

"There was a buzz when I shared a glass of soju and talked with Ri Myong Hun in 2003", Hur said.

The men and women national basketball teams of South Korea left on Tuesday for North Korea to play friendly matches amid the ongoing rapprochement on the peninsula.