US Secretary of State Returns to N Korea for Nuclear Talks

06-Jul-2018 Intellasia | VOA News | 7:05 AM Print This Post

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to the North Korean capital of Pyongyang on Thursday.

The top American diplomat is expected to meet with officials there until Saturday. President Donald Trump’s administration announced the trip this week.

A US delegation, led by US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, met with North Korean officials on Sunday in the truce village of Panmunjom. It marked the first known meeting between US and North Korean officials since Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore.

Speaking on national television on Sunday, national security adviser John Bolton spoke about the idea of denuclearisation for the North. He said North Korea’s weapons programme could largely be ended in a year.



Officials say North Korea still developing weapons

The diplomatic efforts come as American intelligence officials have stated that North Korea is still processing nuclear fuel and expanding its weapons programmes.

Bruce Klingner is with the Heritage Foundation, a research group in Washington, D.C. He said satellite images show that North Korea has expanded a nuclear centre and a missile production centre. He said North Korea is increasing its production of nuclear materials at both secret and known centers.

Klingner said the US must learn from past mistakes.

David Schmerler is a researcher at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. He told VOA that North Korea appears to be finishing a factory that is known for making parts for solid-fuel missiles.

In other news reports, American intelligence officials have said the North is seeking to mislead the United States about how many weapons it has.

Before Trump and Kim met in Singapore, North Korea destroyed parts of its Punggye-ri nuclear test area. That is where all six of North Korea’s nuclear tests had been carried out.

North Korea invited reporters from several countriesincluding the United States, South Korea, China, Russia and Britainto record the event.

However, a North Korean research website called 38 North says satellite images show that the headquarters and other building remain in place.

Stephen Noerper is a director with the Korea Society. He told VOA it is still “early in the process.”

“It will be a very long path ahead that will be complicated and will require numerous meetings.”

Noerper added that North Korea has made a commitment to denuclearise before the whole international community. However, there is still no signed agreement on how that will be carried out.

I’m Mario Ritter.


Category: Korea

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