Belfast Telegraph

White House expects Kim to axe nukes inside a year

By Carla White

Donald Trump's national security adviser said the US has a plan that would lead to the dismantling of North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes within a year.

John Bolton suggested he expects the North Koreans to co-operate because they want to see sanctions lifted quickly and aid from South Korea and Japan start to flow.

Mr Bolton said: "Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be discussing this with the North Koreans in the near future about really how to dismantle all of their WMD and ballistic missile programmes in a year."

He added: "If they have the strategic decision already made to do that, and they're co-operative, we can move very quickly."

His remarks appear to be the first time the Trump administration had publicly suggested a timeline for North Korea to fulfil the commitment leader Kim Jong-un made at a summit with the US President last month for the "complete denuclearisation" of the Korean Peninsula.

Despite Mr Trump's rosy post-summit declaration that the North no longer poses a nuclear threat, Washington and Pyongyang have yet to negotiate the terms under which it would relinquish the weapons that it developed to deter the US.

Doubts over North Korea's intentions have deepened amid reports that it is continuing to produce fissile material for weapons.

The Washington Post reported evidence collected since the June 12 summit points to preparations to deceive the US about the number of nuclear warheads in North Korea's arsenal.

Belfast Telegraph


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