North Korea steps up production of uranium fuel

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island in Singapore

North Korea is considering ways to hide the number of nuclear weapons it has and its secret production facilities, a media report claimed Sunday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Beijing, China, in this undated photo released June 20, 2018 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency.

North Korea intends to maintain some of its nuclear stockpile and production facilities while potentially concealing them from the United States, The Washington Post reported Saturday, citing U.S. officials.

Trump on Sunday said North Korea is "very serious" about denuclearization, but the these reports indicate the opposite.

On CBS's "Face the Nation," Bolton said North Korea's nuclear arsenal could be dismantled in a year if Pyongyang cooperates, adding that the program would require "full disclosure of all [of North Korea's] chemical and biological, nuclear programs, ballistic missile sites".

Yet the biggest revelation has been the details about North Korea's secret enrichment sites.

Asked about the US diplomat's visit, Kim Eui-keum, a spokesman for South Korea's Blue House, said that they were aware of the meeting but that it would be inappropriate to comment further. He finally shrugged, reluctantly admitting that it "may not work out", as if it were a development deal for some hotel in Miami Beach rather than the possible annihilation of millions of people.

But Bolton also said the U.S. has a plan for Kim to decnuclearize within a year, something Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will discuss when he meets with North Korean officials this week. In late May, the envoy led a meeting between USA officials and North Korean officials in the demilitarized zone ahead of the Singapore summit.

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Images analysed by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California show North Korea was finishing construction on the exterior of the plant around the time Kim Jong Un held a summit with Trump last month, the report said.

A team of USA officials led by envoy Sung Kim met with North Korean officials Sunday at Panmunjom, the border village between North and South Korea in the demilitarized zone, senior State Department officials told CNN. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo has tried to walk that statement back, but Pompeo has also falsely tweeted on Saturday that Kim Jong-un had agreed to "fully verified denuclearization" - which again, would be pretty hard to do without having an actual agreement in place.

"What it suggests is that Kim has no intention of surrendering his nuclear weapons".

Instead, there are indications that instead of stopping its nuclear and missile programs, Pyongyang is continuing to bulk them up.

The report said the facility, located in the city of Hamnhung, makes solid-fuel and missiles that can hit United States military bases in Asia, and equipment for warheads that could be used to strike American soil.

"It is perfectly rational for North Korea to shift the emphasis to developing solid fuel missiles now that it already has a suite of liquid fuel missiles to deter an attack", he said.

"And 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".

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