Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

North Korea Ramping Up Nuclear Fuel Production at Secret Cites

North Korea Ramping Up Nuclear Fuel Production at Secret Cites

The latest USA intelligence assessment of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program suggests that "North Korean officials are exploring ways to deceive Washington about the number of nuclear warheads, and missiles and the types and numbers of facilities they have, believing that the United States is not aware of the full range of their activities", the Post reported, citing four us officials who have seen or been briefed on the latest intelligence.

United States Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) mocked President Donald Trump on social media Saturday morning, sarcastically saying that reports of North Korea continuing to expand its nuclear program just weeks after a summit between the two countries could not possibly be true. We've seen how the North Koreans have behaved before.

Japanese defense ministry officials were not available for immediate comment.

"There is little indication that North Korea has halted research, development, or production of nuclear systems even as talks continue", Mount said.

Various North Korea experts have underlined the importance of the new report, both in regards to what it contains, as well as the fact that US officials felt compelled to leak it. Sharing the assessment with the media could indicate the severity with which the USA intelligence community disagrees with President Trump's statements on the matter, or could be part of some kind of authorized strategy to expose the sites and build pressure on North Korea - or justify future military action. Earlier this week, the monitoring group 38 North reported that North Korea had made rapid improvements to a nuclear reactor. However, Bolton said the USA does not yet have a full accounting of North Korea's nuclear arsenal.

"I'm confident what (Trump) intended there was, 'we did reduce the threat, '" Pompeo told a Senate panel.

Trump earlier declared that "there is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea", but some officials fear that Kim's latest agreement may be another set of empty promises created to secure concessions from the USA while continuing to develop nuclear weapons.

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"Analysts at the CIA and other intelligence agencies don't see it that way, according to more than a dozen American officials who are familiar with their assessments and spoke on the condition of anonymity", it reported.

He said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will likely discuss that proposal with the North Koreans soon.

Bolton said the US has a program in the works that would allow for North Korea's nuclear program to be dismantled within a year.

However, his comments Sunday came just one day after NBC reported that they were told by more than a dozen USA officials that North Korea is pushing forward with its nuclear program at multiple secret sites. "If they have the strategic decision already made to do that, and they're cooperative, we can move very quickly", he added. "We have a very good chemistry", he added.

Such inspection trips have raised the prospect of Pyongyang seeking to enhance cross-border economic cooperation with China, experts said, as Beijing appears to be seeking easing of its enforcement of sanctions on North Korea.

The US network, citing intelligence officials, said North Korea's regime was preparing to "extract every concession" from the White House rather than relinquishing its nuclear weapons.

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