North Korea repeatedly rejects US proposal for denuclearisation, report says
Washington plan for Pyongyang to disarm 60 to 70 per cent of its arsenal within eight months has been turned down numerous times, according to Vox
North Korea has repeatedly turned down a denuclearisation proposal made by the US, the Vox news website reported on Wednesday, one that would have set a formal timeline to start the process by having Pyongyang cut its nuclear arsenal by 60 to 70 per cent within six to eight months, delivering the warheads to a third party.
In exchange, Vox said, the US would lift economic sanctions and remove North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Citing two anonymous sources familiar with the matter, Vox reported that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made the offer to his North Korean counterpart Kim Yong-chol numerous times, only to be rejected.
Almost two months after the historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12, denuclearisation negotiations between the US and North Korea have fallen well short of concrete results. Shortly after the meeting, Trump boasted on Twitter that “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea”.
Just landed - a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2018
However, in testifying before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee in late June, Pompeo acknowledged that North Korea was still producing nuclear materials, despite Kim’s pledge to denuclearise.
US intelligence agencies also believe that Pyongyang has increased its production of fuel for nuclear weapons at multiple secret sites in recent months, NBC News reported, citing unnamed US officials.
“The United States has lived up to the Singapore declaration. It’s just North Korea that has not taken the steps we feel are necessary to denuclearise,” National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Tuesday in an interview on Fox News Channel.
Bolton said that the US would continue to apply economic pressure until Pyongyang produces results. “The idea that we’re going to relax the sanctions just on North Korea’s say-so, I think, is something that just isn’t under consideration,” he said.
Randall Schriver, assistant secretary of defence for Asian and Pacific security affairs at the US Defence Department, told an American Enterprises Institute event on Tuesday that the Pentagon would “look to Secretary of State Pompeo and the president to give us a lead on their assessment of how the negotiations are going”.
In late June, the Pentagon indefinitely suspended military exercises with South Korean forces on the Korean Peninsula in an effort, initiated by Trump, to support the negotiations with North Korea.