"We're in a good spot", State Department representative Heather Nauert told reporters last week, according to NBC News. The U.S. State Department furtively shifted its insistence on a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization (CVID) to a finally, fully-verified denuclearization (FFVD) after the North bristled against the former approach.
The Asahi Shimbun reported Thursday the two leaders agreed to cooperate strategically on a shared objective of the removal of the 28,500 USA soldiers in the South, following the summit in Singapore where President Donald Trump described joint drills as "very provocative" and costly.
But during behind-the-scenes negotiations following the historic inter-Korean summit in April this year, North Korea told Japan at the working-level that the Stockholm deal has "not been scrapped", the sources said.
Last month, the 38 North website, which monitors North Korean activity, said commercial satellite imagery of North Korea's Sohae Satellite Launching Station showed no dismantlement activity of its rocket engine test stand.
"Once they started playing, the players showed quick chemistry and I was proud of them, " said Lee Moon-kyu, the head coach of South Korea's women's team, who will also lead a combined Koreas team at the Asian Games next month in Indonesia.
"The president has made it hard to walk away from the talks even in the North is just stalling and prevaricating again", said another official familiar with the talks, pointing to Trump's tweets that North Korea no longer poses nuclear threats.
Kim also said the North is showing signs of building a new submarine capable of firing ballistic missiles at its Sinpo shipyard on the east coast. Pompeo hopes to press North Korea to work toward a timetable to end its nuclear program and lay out details of how verification of that can be carried out.
However, some officials in the State and Defence Departments and in US intelligence agencies are anxious that by overstating the results of the Singapore summit, Trump has put himself at a disadvantage if negotiations do begin. "Our policy toward North Korea has not changed, we're committed to a denuclearized North Korea". "The secretary has been very clear and very blunt with the North Koreans about what he expects".
United Nations Command has at least one phone "hotline" open at the Demilitarized Zone splitting the two Koreas while waiting to bring the remains of USA service members, but there has been no communication at all yet with the North Koreans, said a US defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation. The report also cited a Defense Intelligence Agency estimate that the North is unlikely to follow through on the pledge to denuclearize. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was not mentioned among the attendees.
Go Myong-Hyun of the Seoul-based Asan Institute for Policy Studies said the United States may focus on demanding the dismantling of missiles, whose size makes them harder to hide than warheads and nuclear materials.
Tokyo has said it is ready to normalize ties with and provide economic support to North Korea following a comprehensive resolution of the nuclear, missile and abduction issues, according to the sources.
- Reliance announces Jio GigaFiber across 1100 Indian cities
- Kim Dotcom eligible to be extradited to U.S. , court rules
- Family comes before president, says Trump lawyer
- Oil prices chart new territory on supply-side concerns
- Boys lost in Thai cave to be taught how to dive
- Thai boys healthy as rescue plans formed
- Saudi, Russia expect oil production to increase by 1m bpd from July
- Bentancur calms Cavani injury fears after worrying photos emerge
- SCOTUS: Trump interviews senator as possible replacement for Kennedy
- Can Manchester United win the Premier League this season?