State Department declines to provide timeline for NK denuclearization

US National Security Adviser Bolton has said the weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles could be dismantled in 12 months

US National Security Adviser Bolton has said the weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles could be dismantled in 12 months

North Korea is "very serious" about dismantling its nuclear weapons, US President Donald Trump said today, dismissing reports that Pyongyang does not intend to fully surrender its nuclear stockpiles.

Pompeo is set to leave for Pyongyang on Thursday to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and discuss follow-up measures on an agreement signed by Kim and US President Donald Trump at their historic summit last month.

"We've had very clear conversations with them", Nauert added.

In a Twitter post, Trump said that North Korea has conducted "no Rocket Launches or Nuclear Testing in 8 months".

"All of Asia is thrilled", Trump said. The improvements include several new buildings and modifications to the plutonium production reactor's cooling system. The Financial Times reported that Pompeo was due to visit North Korea this week but the State Department has not confirmed any travel plans.

An ambassador to South Korea between 2011 and 2015 who previously negotiated with Pyongyang over its nuclear arsenal, Sung Kim also met with North Korean officials in May in the run-up to Singapore.

Satellite images taken nine days after the Singapore summit showed North Korea continuing to build on the infrastructure at a key nuclear reactor.

Immediately following the summit, Trump also announced the US was canceling a major joint military exercise with South Korea scheduled for August, Ulchi Freedom Guardian - even calling it a "war game", and "provocative" - the same language used by North Korea and China.

The State Department says a senior USA diplomat held talks with North Korea in the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas over the weekend.

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Pompeo will also participate in the US-EU Energy Council and co-host a meeting of foreign ministers of the global coalition to defeat ISIS with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in Brussels, Nauert said.

John Bolton, Trump's national security advisor, said on Sunday that the U.S. plans for North Korea to dismantle its chemical, biological, nuclear, and ballistic missile programs in a year's time.

But the administration has framed it as a goodwill gesture to keep negotiations going, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo telling ABC News the day after the summit that it was about "setting the right conditions for moving forward with" talks.

The country's top diplomat is likely to meet with North Korean leader Kim to discuss in detail the denuclearization process, especially with what the North can do next.

Harry Kazianis, Executive Editor of The National Interest and Director of Defense Studies at the Center for the National Interest, says it seems the North Koreans "don't have any intention of denuclearizing". He said North Korea's weapons program could largely be ended in a year. They also say the US has an unrealistic approach to North Korea's denuclearization.

Wednesday (July 4) marks the first anniversary of North Korea's test-firing of its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching Alaska.

"There's no evidence that they are decreasing stockpiles, or that they have stopped their production", one anonymous official told NBC News last week. U.S. officials have said that North Korea has already identified about 200 sets of remains that could be quickly recovered. "I think they want to do it".

The North Korean government appears to be finalizing the expansion of a major ballistic missile manufacturing plant, a monitoring group tells CBN News.

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