Buildings being dismantled at NK nuke test site

Frederick Owens
May 15, 2018

But make no mistake about it: "America's interest here is preventing the risk that North Korea will launch a nuclear weapon into L.A. or Denver or to the very place we are sitting here this morning, Chris", Pompeo said.

North Korea will never completely give up its nuclear weapons, a top defector said ahead of leader Kim Jong Un's landmark summit with US President Donald Trump next month.

Pompeo said the United States would not be willing to invest taxpayer dollars to help the country, but was willing to "lift sanctions" to pave the way for private American investment in North Korea's energy, agriculture and infrastructure sectors.

In the run-up to the June 12 summit in Singapore, North Korea announced on Saturday that it has set the date to begin shutting down a major nuclear test site to improve relations with the outside world.

During their meeting at a border truce village, Moon and Kim vaguely promised to work toward the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula, but made no references to verification or timetables. However North Korea has argued for a more incremental denuclearization process that would provide immediate concessions for each denuclearization measure undertaken.

Dialogue brokered by South Korea has seen US-North Korea relations go from trading personal insults and threats of war a year ago to a summit between Kim and Trump which will be held in Singapore on June 12.

Late last month, Trump praised the North Korean leader for being "very open and honorable".

Of all the countries in the region - Japan, North and South Korea - China has the most to gain by preventing a war. Washington is demanding the verifiable dismantling of the North's nuclear weapons program.

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Pompeo dangled the prospect of a gusher of USA investment in North Korea, with upgrades in energy, infrastructure, technology and agriculture, if a deal is struck. The plane arrived from Alaska, where it had stopped Wednesday after leaving North Korea. Following the visit, North Korea released three American citizens. Pompeo told that its economy will rival that to the South Korean economy.

Shah also stressed that the US policy has been to pursue the complete, irreversible and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. He was sentenced in April 2016 to 10 years in prison with hard labor for allegedly "perpetrating state subversive plots and espionage against" North Korea.

The secretary said he was "convinced" Kim shared USA goals.

The tone of Trump's rhetoric towards Kim has shifted dramatically over the past several months.

"The Americans have a real problem here because they have raised expectations about the summit, and they continue to do so", he said.

A high-level South Korean government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Monday that Seoul explained to Washington multiple times through "various routes" that the United States could benefit from economically engaging with North Korea because the reclusive country had market value.

"I think the implementation of the decision means getting rid of the nuclear weapons".

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