Published: Fri, July 06, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

South Korean basketball players arrive for games in North

South Korean basketball players arrive for games in North

Experts say Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang would serve as a barometer for future negotiations over North Korea's nuclear weapons programs. The declaration will be the first real test of the North's candour, amid increasing concern that it may be trying to hide parts of its nuclear program.

The U.S. statement said that Sung Kim had led a delegation that met with North Korean counterparts in the village of Panmunjom on Sunday, where they discussed the next steps toward implementing the joint declaration signed by Trump and Kim Jong Un last month.

A strategy by David Albright at the Institute for Science and International Security suggests the US needs to get Kim to disclose a complete list of all his nuclear program sites and materials, including uranium and plutonium.

He said the administration was well aware of North Korea's track record over the decades in dragging out negotiations with the U.S.to continue weapons development.

"The expansion suggests that, despite hopes for denuclearization, Kim Jong Un is committed to increasing North Korea's stockpile of nuclear-armed missiles", David Schmerler and Jeffrey Lewis, the report's authors, wrote.

According to the daily, evidence collected by U.S. intelligence 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.

As of now, there is little proof that North Korea intends to go down that road, longtime North Korea observers say.

Pompeo's meeting in the North Korean capital will be his first with officials from the country since the landmark Trump-Kim summit.

North Korea will have to back up its words with verifiable actions, Bolton said.

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Klingner said the USA must learn from past mistakes.

US Defense Secretary James Mattis meanwhile has reassured key East Asian allies that the US commitment to Seoul is "ironclad" - despite Trump's unilateral suspension of military exercises with South Korea and his lauding of Kim as a "talented guy".

"Also, this most recent report that the North Koreans are building a facility to build more parts for their solid-fuel missiles - that's also inconsistent with the notion that they are going to give up their weapons".

"It's to North Korea's advantage to see these programs dismantled very quickly, because then the elimination of sanctions, aid by South Korea and Japan and others can all begin to flow", he said on US TV.

In this Thursday, May 24, 2018 photo, smoke and debris rise in the air as barracks buildings for guards and tunneling workers at North Korea's nuclear test site are blown up at Punggye-ri, North Hamgyong Province, North Korea. "I think they want to do it", he said in an interview that aired Sunday.

"It would concern me a lot if they are expanding the nuclear program as they meet with the president", Graham said.

Bolton also conceded that the speed of denuclearization depends on North Korea's cooperation - which is a wild card.

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.

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