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North Korea would Permanently Dismantle Nuclear Complex If U.S. Takes Corresponding Steps on the peninsula

North Korea Agrees to Permanently Dismantle Nuclear Complex If U.S. Takes Corresponding Steps, TIME,  ERIC TALMADGE AND KIM TONG-HYUNG / AP , September 19, 2018   (PYONGYANG, North Korea)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced a sweeping set of agreements after their second day of talks in Pyongyang on Wednesday that included a promise by Kim to permanently dismantle the North’s main nuclear complex if the United States takes corresponding measures, the acceptance of international inspectors to monitor the closing of a key missile test site and launch pad and a vow to work together to host the Summer Olympics in 2032.

Declaring they had made a major step toward peace on the Korean Peninsula, the two leaders were side by side as they announced the joint statement to a group of North and South Korean reporters after a closed-door meeting Wednesday morning……

The statement caps off the third summit between Kim and Moon, who is under increasing pressure from Washington to find a path forward in its efforts to get Kim to completely — and unilaterally — abandon his nuclear arsenal. ……..

The question is whether it will be enough for President Donald Trump to pick up where Moon has left off.

Trump has maintained that he and Kim have a solid relationship, and both leaders have expressed interest in a follow-up summit to their meeting in June in Singapore. North Korea has been demanding a declaration formally ending the Korean War, which was stopped in 1953 by a cease-fire, but neither leader mentioned it as they read the joint statement.

In the meantime, however, Moon and Kim made concrete moves of their own to reduce tensions on their border.

According a joint statement signed by the countries’ defense chiefs, the two Koreas agreed to establish buffer zones along their land and sea borders to reduce military tensions and prevent accidental clashes. They also agreed to withdraw 11 guard posts from the Demilitarized Zone by December and to establish a no-fly zone above the military demarcation line that bisects the two Koreas that will apply to planes, helicopters and drones………http://time.com/5400296/north-korea-dismantle-nuclear-complex-nyongbyon/

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September 21, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | 1 Comment

North Korea is willing to allow outside inspectors to check its closed nuclear weapons test site

South Korea Says Pyongyang Willing to Open Up Nuclear-Weapons Test Site

Moon makes disclosure after returning from summit with Kim, in bid to win over North Korea skeptics, WSJ, By Andrew Jeong and Dasl Yoon,  Sept. 20, 2018 SEOUL—North Korea is open to allowing outside inspections of a nuclear-weapons testing site it closed in May, South Korea’s leader said Thursday, just a day after the North agreed to open a missile site to inspectors.

September 21, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

South Korea’s President Moon hopes to break nuclear deadlock, in third meeting with Kim Jong Un

Moon seeks to break nuclear deadlock at Pyongyang summit, Yahoo News,  Sunghee Hwang, AFPSeptember 16, 2018 

South Korea’s Moon Jae-in will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the third time in Pyongyang this week

South Korea’s Moon Jae-in will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the third time in Pyongyang this week (AFP Photo/Jung Yeon-je)

Seoul (AFP) – South Korean President Moon Jae-in travels to Pyongyang this week for his third summit with Kim Jong Un, looking to break the deadlock in nuclear talks between North Korea and the United States.

Moon — whose own parents fled the North during the 1950-53 Korean War — flies north on Tuesday for a three-day trip, following in the footsteps of his predecessors Kim Dae-jung in 2000 and mentor Roh Moo-hyun in 2007.

No details of the programme have been announced but Pyongyang is likely to pull out all the stops to create a good impression, with tens of thousands of people lining the streets to welcome him.

The visit comes after the North staged its “Mass Games” propaganda display for the first time in five years……….

Despite the deadlock in denuclearisation talks, since the Panmunjom summit the two Koreas have sought to pursue joint projects in multiple fields.

But North Korea is under several different sets of sanctions for its nuclear and missile programmes, complicating Moon’s desire to promote cross-border economic schemes.

The dovish South Korean president is taking several South Korean business tycoons with him to the North, including Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong and the vice chairman of the Hyundai Motor Group, whose founder was a wartime refugee from the North………

special advisor Moon Chung-in added that the South Korean president could look to persuade Kim to come up with a “somewhat radical and bold initiative”, such as dismantling some nuclear bombs, and press the US for reciprocal measures.

“And the United States should be willing to come up with major economic easing of economic sanctions,” he said. https://www.yahoo.com/news/moon-seeks-break-nuclear-deadlock-pyongyang-summit-041619994.html

September 17, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea | Leave a comment

North Korea now emphasising economic development, not nuclear might

North Korea spotlights economic development, not nuclear might, as it turns 70 Eric Talmadge, The Associated Press 

CTV News, September 9, 2018 

PYONGYANG, Korea, Democratic People’s Republic Of — North Korea held a major military parade and revived its iconic mass games to celebrate its 70th anniversary on Sunday, but in keeping with leader Kim Jong Un’s new policies the emphasis was firmly on building up the economy, not on nuclear weapons.

The North rolled out some of its latest tanks and marched its best-trained goose-stepping units in the parade but held back its most advanced missiles and devoted nearly half of the event to civilian efforts to build the domestic economy.

It also brought the mass games back after a five-year hiatus. The games are a grand spectacle that features nearly 20,000 people flipping placards in unison to create huge mosaics as thousands more perform gymnastics or dance in formation on the competition area of Pyongyang’s 150,000-seat May Day Stadium.

The strong emphasis on the economy underscores the strategy Kim has pursued since January of putting economic development front and centre. ………Kim attended the morning parade but did not address the assembled crowd, which included the head of the Chinese parliament and high-level delegations from countries that have friendly ties with the North…….

Kim’s effort to ease tensions with President Donald Trump has stalled since their June summit in Singapore. Both sides are now insisting on a different starting point. Washington wants Kim to commit to denuclearization first, but Pyongyang wants its security guaranteed and a peace agreement formally ending the Korean War………

Soon after the anniversary celebrations end, Kim will meet in Pyongyang with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to discuss ways to break the impasse over his nuclear weapons.

The “new line” of putting economic development first has been Kim’s top priority this year. He claims to have perfected his nuclear arsenal enough to deter U.S. aggression and devote his resources to raising his nation’s standard of living…….https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/north-korea-spotlights-economic-development-not-nuclear-might-as-it-turns-70-1.4086040

September 10, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics, politics international | Leave a comment

Third summit this year between Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un

Third summit this year between Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un stands in contrast to rift with Washington, South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, will travel to North Korea for a third meeting with the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, as denuclearisation talks with the US stall.Moon would travel to Pyongyang between 18 and 20 September, said Chung Eui-yong, head of the South’s National Security Office, as he returned from a one-day meeting with Kim in North Korea. It will be the third time this year the leaders of the two Koreas have met, after talks in the border village of Panmunjom in April and May.

“Chairman Kim Jong-un reaffirmed his firm commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, and expressed his willingness to closely cooperate with not only South Korea but also the United States to that end,” Chung said according to the South’s Yonhap news agency.

The third meeting comes with talks between the US and North Korea over Pyongyang’s nuclear programme having made little progress since a summit between Donald Trump and Kim in June. Trump cancelled a trip by his top diplomat last month. While North Korea has repeatedly agreed to working towards the “complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”, experts warn the language is vague and fails to address key US demands that the North give up its nuclear weapon unilaterally and allow weapons inspectors into the country…………

South Korea’s diplomatic overtures have also highlighted a growing rift between Seoul and Washington, with US officials frustrated by the pace of nuclear negotiations and South Korean authorities focused on improving ties with their unpredictable neighbour.

North Korean state media echoed many of the same statements conveyed by officials in Seoul, with language that emphasised denuclearisation as a shared responsibility, not one for Pyongyang alone.

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said: “Noting that it is our fixed stand and his will to completely remove the danger of armed conflict and horror of war from the Korean Peninsula and turn it into the cradle of peace without nuclear weapons and free from nuclear threat, he said that the North and the South should further their efforts to realise the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.”

North and South Korea will also open a long-planned liaison office in the North Korean city of Kaesong before Moon and Kim meet, according to Chung. Officials from the two countries will hold talks early next week to finalise details for Moon’s trip.    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/06/north-korea-kim-moon-meeting-trump-nuclear

September 6, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea | 1 Comment

USA negotiations with North Korea may be on the verge of breakdown

The current US negotiating strategy with North Korea is doomed, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, By Perry World House, August 30, 2018 US negotiations with North Korea over the latter’s nuclear weapons program appear to have hit a major roadblock. While North Korea has temporarily suspended nuclear and missile testing and partially destroyed its nuclear test site, both steps are reversible, and North Korea has largely balked at US President Donald Trump’s demand for “complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization.” Consequently, negotiations with Pyongyang may be on the verge of breakdown. Trump recently cancelled his secretary of state’s planned trip to the country, and the administration has gone back and forth in the last few days about whether Washington will continue to suspend joint military exercises with South Korea, a concession Trump made to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during their historic summit in June. Given this critical juncture in negotiations, it is time to reevaluate what talks can actually achieve. It would be great if Kim agreed to hand over all of his nuclear weapons, but the reality is that North Korea will not be completely, verifiably, or irreversibly denuclearizing anytime soon. Therefore, if the Trump Administration wants to salvage the negotiations, it needs a new strategy.

Why North Korea won’t denuclearize. The first step to a successful negotiating strategy is understanding how your opponent thinks. So why does North Korea want nuclear weapons in the first place? For the same reason Israel, France, India, and others wanted them—security. Specifically, security against the United States.

North Korea’s murderous dictator has good reason to worry about an American intervention to overthrow his regime. First of all, the United States is much more powerful than North Korea. While the size of North Korea’s entire economy is about $40 billion at most, America spends over $700 billion on its military alone. Second, this fact, combined with Washington’s long history of military interventions, is enough to make any despot shake in his shoes. Finally, the specific history between the United States and North Korea is not reassuring to Kim. The two countries fought against each other in the Korean War, President George W. Bush branded North Korea part of the “axis of evil,” and Trump threatened Pyongyang with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Like many relatively weak countries facing a threat, North Korea turned towards nuclear weapons not because its leader is crazy, but to deter a stronger power. By threatening to punish the United States and its allies with a nuclear response if it is attacked, North Korea is able to effectively dissuade Washington from such attempts. Since Kim’s top priority, like most autocrats, is regime security, he will only give up the protection of his nuclear weapons if he is very confident that he can retain his power without them. Though Trump committed to guaranteeing North Korea’s security in the Singapore Declaration, a number of recent historical episodes will make it difficult to convince Kim he can remain safe if he surrenders all his nuclear weapons.

One example involves Libya. In 2003, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi agreed to give up his nascent nuclear weapons program and permit international inspections. In return, US President George W. Bush promised that Libya could “regain a secure and respected place” among nations. However, just eight years later, in 2011, the United States led a NATO military intervention in Libya that resulted in the brutal killing of Gaddafi. In recent months John Bolton, Trump’s national security advisor, has repeatedly said that Washington has the “Libya model” in mind for North Korea, probably the least reassuring example that could be communicated to Kim.

A second leader who did not do well after suspending his nuclear weapons program was Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. While states that possess nuclear weapons can almost always effectively deter military intervention, states that do not, like Iraq in 2003, are vulnerable. In a fate not much better than Gaddafi’s, Saddam was removed from power by an American military intervention in 2003 and ultimately hung in 2006…….

Trump personally undermined American negotiating credibility in two ways; one indirect and one direct. Indirectly, he hurt Washington’s credibility by withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, even though, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran was complying with its terms. The Trump Administration has now moved to severely punish Iran for its compliance by instituting tough sanctions………..

Given this record, North Korea is very unlikely to agree to fully denuclearize in the short or medium-term, and demanding that it do so is only likely to lead to negotiation failure. To make real progress on this issue, the White House will need to take a different tack.

What Washington’s strategy should be. The Prussian statesman Otto von Bismarck said, “politics is the art of the possible, the attainable.” If North Korea will not be handing over its entire nuclear stockpile anytime soon, what possible, attainable options might curtail the threat? The most extreme option, of course, would be to launch a massive military attack against North Korea in an effort to destroy all of its nuclear weapons and infrastructure—the “fire and fury” Trump threatened. However, such an operation would be reckless to the point of insanity. North Korea has the ability to deliver nuclear missiles to South Korea, Japan, and American military bases in the Pacific. If even one or a handful of nuclear missiles survived an American first strike, hundreds of thousands could die beyond those killed in the initial US attack. Furthermore, even if the United States could reliably locate and destroy all of North Korea’s nuclear weapons in a first strike, Pyongyang would still be able to inflict tens of thousands of casualties daily using conventional and chemical weapons. Given that there is no imminent threat from North Korea’s nuclear program, a preventive war of this type would be nonsensical.

The most sensible option to address the nuclear threat from North Korea would be to pursue an approach dubbed “less for less” by nuclear scholar James Acton. Rather than demanding total denuclearization, the United States should seek a smaller-scale deal that puts significant restrictions on North Korea’s nuclear program in return for moderate sanctions relief and other limited concessions. ……….

Though the prospect of living with a nuclear-armed North Korea for the foreseeable future may seem unacceptable, the world has survived with a nuclear-armed Russia for the last 69 years, China for the last 54 years, Pakistan for the last 20 years, and, yes, North Korea for the last 12 years. Just as North Korea’s nuclear weapons have effectively deterred the United States from a major military intervention, America’s vastly superior nuclear arsenal and conventional capabilities will almost certainly deter North Korea.

This column was written by Joshua A. Schwartz, a PhD candidate in political science at the University of Pennsylvania. https://thebulletin.org/2018/08/the-current-us-negotiating-strategy-with-north-korea-is-doomed/?utm_source=Bulletin%20Newsletter&utm_medium=iContact%20email&utm_campaign=August31

September 3, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

U.S.-North Korea Nuclear Talks are going nowhere

Why the U.S.-North Korea Nuclear Talks Have Stalled, Bloomberg, By David Tweed, August 29, 2018 Just a few months after Donald Trump’s historic handshake with Kim Jong Un in June, nuclear talks between the U.S. and North Korea are going nowhere.

Last week the U.S. president publicly acknowledged for the first time that discussions weren’t going according to plan, canceling a trip to Pyongyang by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. North Korean state media then accused the U.S. of “double-dealing attitudes” and returning to “gunboat diplomacy.”

The problem is, neither side can agree on what the Singapore Declaration signed by both leaders actually means. Pompeo asserts that Kim accepted the “final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea.” North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho says all four provisions must be implemented simultaneously, not denuclearization first.

……… The failure to formally resolve the 1950-53 Korean War lies at the heart of the dispute, with each side using the continued threat of attack to justify its own military activities. Thus, the agreement between Trump and Kim — like earlier deals by their predecessors — included a pledge to “build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.”

Signing a peace treaty without a disarmament deal carries risks for the U.S. because it could legitimize Kim’s control over half of the peninsula and undermine the rationale for stationing 28,000 or so American troops in South Korea. Although Trump suspended some military drills with South Korea, he has so far refused to accept a symbolic peace declaration. That’s prompted the North Koreans to accuse the U.S. of backtracking on its commitments.

 Denuclearization

Despite Trump’s post-summit claim that North Korea was “no longer a nuclear threat,” his agreement with Kim provided no timetable for giving up his nuclear weapons. Even the phrase “complete denuclearization” — a term preferred by North Korea’s that could be read to include nuclear-capable U.S. bombers and submarines — was left open to negotiation.

While Kim has followed through on pledges to refrain from weapons tests and dismantle testing facilities, those were moves he committed to before meeting with Trump. Pompeo has conceded before the U.S. Senate that Kim’s regime continues producing fissile material and has provided no inventory of its nuclear program and facilities. North Korea has warned that the U.S.’s focus on “denuclearization first” risks derailing talks.……… https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-29/why-u-s-north-korea-nuclear-talks-have-stalled-state-of-play

 

August 31, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | 1 Comment

Donald Trump has directed the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to delay a planned trip to North Korea

Trump orders Pompeo to delay nuclear North Korea talks due to lack of progress https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/aug/24/trump-pompeo-delay-nuclear-north-korea-talks-lack-of-progress

‘I do not feel we are making sufficient progress’
Trump suggests US-China trade dispute may be to blame, Guardian,  Martin Pengelly, 24 Aug 18,  Donald Trump has directed the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to delay a planned trip to North Korea, the president tweeted on Friday, “because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”.

Trump met Kim Jong-un in Singapore in June, after months of abuse and threats between the two leaders and the US-led imposition of tough sanctions against Pyongyang.

Trump claimed the Singapore summit was a success, after he signed a joint statement which said in part: “President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong-un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”

North Korea has returned to the US remains of soldiers killed in the Korean war, which was fought between 1950 and 1953 and has never formally ended. But critics have said the Singapore statement achieved nothing concrete and progress has been slow.

On Friday, at the end of a week in which the International Atomic Energy Agency said North Korea was still developing nuclear weapons, Trump made a striking U-turn.

Some of the blame rested with China, he said, “because of our much tougher Trading stance”.

Trump’s imposition of tariffs on steel and other imports has touched off an intensifying trade war with Beijing.

Trump added: “I do not believe they are helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were (despite the UN Sanctions which are in place).

“Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our Trading relationship with China is resolved.”

Pompeo, formerly CIA director, has played a leading role in talks with North Korea, meeting Kim twice on three visits to Pyongyang. On Thursday, he appointed a senior Ford executive, Steven Biegun, to be his special envoy. The two men would visit the country next week, Pompeo said.

A senior White House official told Reuters Trump asked Pompeo not to go to North Korea during a meeting at the White House on Friday afternoon.

Trump tweeted: “I would like to send my warmest regards and respect to Chairman Kim. I look forward to seeing him soon!”

In response, Kelly Magsamen, vice-president for national security and international policy at the Center for American Progress and a former Pentagon and White House adviser on Asia, tweeted that Trump was “undermining his own leverage again. Not to mention his [secretary of state] and new envoy”.

“It’s fine to not send the secretary due to lack of progress,” she wrote, “but don’t then also talk about how you are eager to meet with [Kim] and how China is thwarting you.”

Trump left the White House on Friday for Ohio, where he was due to visit a hospital and speak at a Republican dinner. He did not respond to shouted questions about North Korea.

August 25, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Trump declared the North Korea nuclear threat over. The United Nations isn’t so sure,

 LA Times,By TRACY WILKINSON  AUG 23, 2018 Two months after President Trump boasted that North Korea is “no longer a nuclear threat,” growing evidence suggests that leader Kim Jong Un has not shut down the country’s illicit production of bomb-making material and other nuclear activities, raising concerns that the proposed denuclearization deal has stalled at the starting gate………http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-pol-us-norkor-nuclear-20180823-story.html

August 25, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

A new Summit between South and North Korea

Koreas prepare for summit as North asks US to ease sanctions, https://apnews.com/89398fce8c9a42fc9e3fc1f3fde1dd5e/Koreas-prepare-for-summit-as-North-asks-US-to-ease-sanction,By YOUKYUNG LEE  Aug. 10, 2018  SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The rival Koreas plan to hold high-level talks on Monday to prepare for a third summit between their leaders, as Pyongyang called on the United States to reciprocate its “goodwill measures” by easing sanctions and stopping demands that the North denuclearize first.

The plans by the Korean leaders to meet come as Washington and Pyongyang try to follow through on nuclear disarmament vows made at a U.S.-North Korea summit in June between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

In the most recent sign of growing frustration between Washington and Pyongyang, North Korea criticized senior American officials for insisting that North Korea give up its nuclear weapons first before easing sanctions. Notably, the statement didn’t directly criticize Trump.

North Korea said in a statement Thursday that “some high-level officials within the U.S. administration” were making “desperate attempts at intensifying the international sanctions and pressure.”

“We hoped that these goodwill measures would contribute to breaking down the high barrier of mistrust” between Pyongyang and Washington, the North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said. “However, the U.S. responded to our expectation by inciting international sanctions and pressure.”

Those American officials are “going against the intention of President Trump to advance the DPRK-U.S. relations, who is expressing gratitude to our goodwill measures for implementing the DPRK-U.S. joint statement,” it said referring to the North by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Washington has said that sanctions will not be lifted until Pyongyang fully and finally dismantles its nuclear weapons. Some experts say that North Korea does not want to denuclearize first or maybe denuclearize at all because it wants a long, drawn-out process that sees external aid shipped in in return for abandoning nuclear weapons.

Pyongyang has also stepped up its calls for a formal end to the Korean War, which some analysts believe is meant to be the first step in the North’s effort to eventually see all 28,500 U.S. troops leave the Korean Peninsula.

A South Korean official at the Unification Ministry, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of office rules, said the two Koreas will also discuss on Monday ways to push through tension-reducing agreements made during an earlier summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Among the agreements was holding another inter-Korean summit in the fall in Pyongyang.

The rival Koreas may try to seek a breakthrough amid what experts see as little progress on nuclear disarmaments between Pyongyang and Washington despite the Singapore summit in June and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s several visits to North Korea.

Pyongyang insisted that the U.S. should reciprocate to the North’s suspension of missile launches and nuclear tests and other goodwill gestures such as the return of remains of American troops killed in the Korean War. The United States cancelled a joint war exercise with South Korea that was due to take place this month while dismissing calls to ease sanctions until the North delivers on its commitments to fully denuclearize.

The inter-Korean meeting on Monday will be held at Tongilgak, a North Korean-controlled building in the border village of Panmunjom. South Korea’s unification minister will lead the delegation from Seoul but North Korea, which proposed the Monday meeting first, did not confirm the makeup of its delegation.

It wasn’t clear when another inter-Korean summit might happen, but if the April 27 summit agreements between Moon and Kim are followed through on, the leaders will likely meet in Pyongyang in the next couple of months.

In the meantime, both Koreas are seeking an end of the Korean War. South Korea’s presidential spokesman said last month that Seoul wants a declaration of the end of the 1950-53 war sooner than later. The Korean Peninsula is still technically in a state of war because the fighting ended with a cease-fire, not a peace treaty.

Earlier Thursday, North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary that ending the Korean War is “the first process for ensuring peace and security not only in the Korean peninsula but also in the region and the world.”

Kim and Moon met in April at a highly publicized summit that saw the leaders hold hands and walk together across the border, and then again in a more informal summit in May, just weeks before Kim met Trump in Singapore.

August 13, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea | Leave a comment

North Korea Now in Standoff With U.S.A. on nuclear negotiations

Once ‘No Longer a Nuclear Threat,’ North Korea Now in Standoff With U.S. NYT, By David E. Sanger and William J. Broad, Aug. 10, 2018   WASHINGTON — North Korea is insisting that the United States declare that the Korean War is over before providing a detailed, written disclosure of all its atomic weapons stockpiles, its nuclear production facilities and its missiles as a first major step toward denuclearization.

Two months after President Trump declared his summit meeting in Singapore with Kim Jong-un a complete success, North Korea has not yet even agreed to provide that list during private exchanges with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to American and South Korean officials familiar with the talks.

Mr. Pompeo maintains progress is being made, although he has provided no details. But John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, this week said, “North Korea that has not taken the steps we feel are necessary to denuclearize.”

On Thursday, North Korea’s state-run newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, called the declaration of the end of the war “the demand of our time” and that would be the “first process” in moving toward a fulfillment of the June 12 deal struck between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim. Pyonygang also wants peace treaty talks to begin before detailing its arsenal.

If the standoff over the parallel declarations remains, it is hard to see how the two countries can move forward with an agreement.

“The North Koreans have lied to us consistently for nearly 30 years,” Joseph Nye, who wrote one of the National Intelligence Council’s first assessments of the North’s weapons programs in 1993, said at the Aspen Institute on Tuesday.

“Trump is in a long tradition of American presidents who have been taken to the cleaners,” Mr. Nye said.

Neither Mr. Trump nor Mr. Pompeo has acknowledged the impasse. But officials said South Korea has quietly backed the North Korean position, betting that once Mr. Trump has issued a “peace declaration” it would be harder for him to later threaten military action if the North fails to disarm or discard its nuclear arsenal.

Against North Korea’s continuing nuclear buildup — and its threats to strike the United States — Washington has long refused to formally declare the end of the war, which was halted with a 1953 armistice but never officially brought to a close.

And fears remain that making concessions to Pyongyang — especially after Mr. Trump shelved annual American military exercises with South Korea that he called “war games,’’ the phrase used by the North — would outrage Republicans in Congress and open Mr. Trump to charges that he has been outmaneuvered by the North Korean leader.

The White House has never reconciled Mr. Trump’s post on Twitter after meeting Mr. Kim that “there is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea” with Mr. Bolton’s assessment that the Singapore agreement has so far yielded almost no progress in the nuclear arena. That view is shared by many in Congress and the American intelligence agencies.

For Mr. Trump and Mr. Pompeo, much rides on how this standoff is resolved — or whether it results in the collapse of what the president called his determination to “solve” the nuclear crisis.

Mr. Pompeo has told associates that he believes his tenure as secretary of state will be judged largely on how he handles the negotiations. In recent weeks he has softened some of his statements toward North Korea, saying the United States is open to a step-by-step approach that most officials had previously rejected.

“The ultimate timeline for denuclearization will be set by Chairman Kim,”Mr. Pompeo said last week — a stark contrast to Mr. Trump’s statements last year that North Korea should give up its weapons rapidly, or face tremendous, if unspecified, consequences.

Challenged about the lack of progress so far, officials at the White House and State Department pointed to three developments as signs that the strategy with North Korea is advancing.

They noted that North Korea has not conducted a missile or nuclear test since November. Since the Singapore summit, Pyongyang has returned the remains of about 55 Americans killed in the Korean War, which appear genuine, a good-will gesture though one unrelated to the nuclear program. And satellite evidence suggests North Korea has begun dismantling a test site where it has developed missile technologies and launched space satellite missions. Experts cautioned, however, that all the steps taken so far are easily reversible……..https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/10/us/politics/north-korea-denuclearize-peace-treaty.html

August 13, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

North Korea finding fault with USA’s diplomat Mike Pompeo

North Korea’s Pompeo Problem Exposes Widening Rift Over Talks, Bloomberg By Bill Faries, August 7, 2018, 

  • Top U.S. diplomat rebuked after two latest trips to Asia
  • U.S. told it will ‘get nothing’ from its pressure campaign

North Korea appears to have a Pompeo problem.

The widening gulf between Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s description of nuclear talks with North Korea and Pyongyang’s criticism of his efforts is adding further confusion to the status of negotiations intended to lead to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Twice in recent weeks North Korean officials and state media have rebutted the top U.S. diplomat’s characterization of events and suggested the administration has a myopic focus on denuclearization while ignoring issues such as bringing about a final resolution of the Korean War. Even as President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un exchange optimistic messages about their push for peace, Pompeo has increasingly become a target of public disparagement from Pyongyang.

………. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-06/north-korea-s-pompeo-problem-exposes-widening-rift-over-talks?utm_source=google&utm_medium=bd&cmpId=google

August 8, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Public opinion being influenced by biased and inaccurate reporting on North Korea

They have thus obscured the reality that the fate of the negotiations depends not only North Korean policy but on the willingness of the United States to make changes in its policy toward the DPRK and the Korean Peninsula that past administrations have all been reluctant to make.

These stories also underscore a broader problem with media coverage of the US-North Korean negotiations: a strong underlying bias toward the view that it is futile to negotiate with North Korea. The latest stories have constructed a dark narrative of North Korean deception that is not based on verified facts. If this narrative is not rebutted or corrected, it could shift public opinion—which has been overwhelmingly favorable to negotiations with North Korea—against such a policy.

How the Media Wove a Narrative of North Korean Nuclear Deception 38 North, BY: GARETH PORTER, JULY 26, 2018

Since the June 12 Singapore Summit between US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the US media has woven a misleading narrative that both past and post-summit North Korean actions indicate an intent to deceive the US about its willingness to denuclearize. The so-called intelligence that formed the basis of these stories was fed to reporters by individuals within the administration pushing their own agenda.

The Case of the Secret Uranium Enrichment Sites

In late June and early July, a series of press stories portrayed a North Korean policy of deceiving the United States by keeping what were said to be undeclared uranium enrichment sites secret from the United States. The stories were published just as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was preparing for the first meetings with North Korean officials to begin implementing the Singapore Summit Declaration.

The first such story appeared on NBC News on June 29, which reported: Continue reading

July 28, 2018 Posted by | media, North Korea, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo accused North Korea of hiding nuclear facilities, enriching uranium

Pompeo accused North Korea of hiding nuclear facilities, enriching uranium: Report , Straits Times, 17 July 18 TOKYO (THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused North Korea of operating secret facilities for the enrichment of uranium when he met senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol during his July 6-7 visit to the country, the Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

The US top diplomat’s move appears to underscore Washington’s increasing suspicion that Pyongyang is covertly proceeding with activities that are contrary to denuclearisation, despite its declared commitment to the goal.

It also raises the possibility that even if North Korea starts the process of denuclearisation, the alleged existence of secret facilities will become an issue during the declaration and verification phases.

According to sources knowledgeable about Japan-US-South Korea trilateral talks, Pompeo said at his meeting Kim Yong Chol that Pyongyang was enhancing the production of enriched uranium and also concealing nuclear-related facilities and nuclear warheads.

Citing information that construction activities are under way at a missile plant at Hamhung in the north-eastern province of South Hamgyong to expand the facility, Pompeo stressed that this was not beneficial to US-North Korean relations.

Kim Yong Chol, a top North Korean party official and former spy agency chief with whom Pompeo played a key role in arranging an unprecedented summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12, flatly denied Pompeo’s claim, according to the sources.

Pyongyang has never hidden or operated a secret uranium enrichment site, the North Korean official was quoted as saying.

Kim also reportedly argued that activities at the Hamhung missile plant were part of construction work in preparation for the rainy season, not expansion work.

On July 7, a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman released a statement accusing Washington of showing a “regrettable” attitude at the meeting between Pompeo and the North Korean official……..https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/pompeo-accused-north-korea-of-hiding-nuclear-facilities-enriching-uranium-report

July 18, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Mike Pompeo holds nuclear talks with North Korean officials in Pyongyang

Secretary of state predicts ‘productive’ meeting on his third visit, joking: ‘If I come one more time, I will have to pay taxes here’, Guardian, Julian Borger in Washington and Justin McCurry in Tokyo 7 Jul 2018   

Mike Pompeo and a US delegation held talks in Pyongyang with North Korean officials on Friday, in an effort to make progress towards disarmament and improved bilateral relations three weeks after Donald Trump’s Singapore summit with Kim Jong-un.

The US secretary of state is seeking to persuade the North Korean leadership to take concrete steps that Trump said he was promised in Singapore, including the destruction of a missile engine testing site and the repatriation of remains of US soldiers killed in the Korean war.

Pompeo is also asking for more substantial steps towards disarmament, reportedly including an inventory of the North Korean arsenal of warheads and missiles.

Mike Pompeo and a US delegation held talks in Pyongyang with North Korean officials on Friday, in an effort to make progress towards disarmament and improved bilateral relations three weeks after Donald Trump’s Singapore summit with Kim Jong-un.

The US secretary of state is seeking to persuade the North Korean leadership to take concrete steps that Trump said he was promised in Singapore, including the destruction of a missile engine testing site and the repatriation of remains of US soldiers killed in the Korean war.

Pompeo is also asking for more substantial steps towards disarmament, reportedly including an inventory of the North Korean arsenal of warheads and missiles.

…….. He is under time pressure to produce results by August, when the US and South Korea were due to hold joint military exercises. Those exercises were cancelled on Trump’s orders in Singapore as an up-front concession. Adding to the pressure, the president has repeatedly claimed that the testing site has already been destroyed, and that the soldiers’ remains have been sent back, neither of which has happened.

Trump has also made extravagant claims about what was agreed in Singapore. At a rally in Montana on Thursday, he claimed: “We signed a wonderful paper saying they’re going to denuclearise their whole thing. It’s going to all happen.”

In a joint statement with Trump, Kim agreed to move towards “complete denuclearisation” but that has been a stock phrase in North Korean rhetoric since 1992 and signifies a vague and long-term process of multilateral disarmament on the Korean peninsula. Since the Singapore meeting, satellite images and intelligence leaks have suggested that North Korea is upgrading critical parts of its nuclear programme

……….. The meeting lasted two hours and 45 minutes and Pompeo then had dinner with his senior aides. The next session is due to start at 9am. It is unclear whether Pompeo will meet Kim Jong-un on this trip.

There were reports before Pompeo began his visit, that he might relax the US demand for complete, verifiable, irreversible disarmament (CVID), and settle for mutual confidence-building measures that defused tensions without dismantling the North Korean arsenal.

His spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, denied those reports on Thursday, saying: “Nothing could be further from the truth. Our policy toward North Korea has not changed.

“We are committed to a denuclearised North Korea and Secretary Pompeo looks forward to continuing his consultations with North Korean leaders to follow up on the commitments made at the Singapore summit,” Nauert added……….. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/05/mike-pompeo-north-kroea-visit-pressure-nuclear-progress

 

July 7, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment