White House's Bolton: North Korea nuclear program can be dismantled in year


It was reported that the White House withdrew its nomination of Victor Cha, a veteran Korea expert, in January because of Cha's opposition to military options against Pyongyang.

Bolton said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that top US diplomat Mike Pompeo will be discussing that plan with North Korea in the near future.

Bolton told CBS News that if Pyongyang has already made the "strategic decision" to end its weapons development program and "they're cooperative, we can move very quickly".

"Physically we would be able to dismantle the overwhelming bulk of their programs within a year".

It said the findings support a new, previously undisclosed Defense Intelligence Agency estimate that North Korea is unlikely to denuclearize. According to some reports, Pompeo may make another visit to North Korea this week for more talks.

The Washington Post on Saturday cited unnamed USA intelligence officials as concluding that North Korea does not intend to fully surrender its nuclear stockpile.

Trump earlier declared that "there is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea", but some officials fear that Kim's latest agreement may be another set of empty promises created to secure concessions from the US while continuing to develop nuclear weapons.

"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. "And our concern about what they're doing in the 2018 election and what President Putin said through a translator of course but what he said was there was no meddling in 2016 by the Russian state".

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Kim is the United States ambassador to the Philippines and has been one of the key U.S. officials dealing with the North Koreans leading up to the Trump-Kim summit.

Then on Sunday night, the Wall Street Journal reported that researchers have determined that North Korea is rapidly completing a major expansion of a key missile-manufacturing facility - one that produces reentry vehicles and solid-fuel ballistic missiles created to enable nuclear strikes with greater surprise or at greater distances.

At the talks on June 19-20, Kim asked his counterpart to cooperate in lifting the sanctions against North Korea because they "have severely battered" his country, according to several sources involved in the China-North Korea meeting.

Despite Trump's rosy post-summit declaration that the North no longer poses a nuclear threat, Washington and Pyongyang have yet to negotiate the terms under which it would relinquish the weapons that it developed over decades to deter the U.S.

Trump administration officials are also less bullish than the president was. President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most unsafe problem.

The president also made it sound as though the had made a real deal with Kim, when all they actually did was sign a vague mutual commitment to denuclearization.

- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2018Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea.

The North last month blew up its aged but only nuclear test site at Punggye-ri - where it had staged six atomic tests - in a show of goodwill before the summit.