NoKor secretly protecting missile sites despite talks

photo credit to: https://thehill.com

North Korea is working to ensure its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities cannot be destroyed by military strikes, U.N. monitors said ahead of a meeting between U.S. and North Korean officials to prepare a second denuclearization summit.

 

The U.S. special envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, will meet his North Korean counterpart on Wednesday in Pyongyang to prepare for a summit later this month between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

 

South Korean officials said they and the United States could be looking at a compromise that could expedite North Korea’s denuclearization – the dismantling of the North’s main Yongbyon nuclear complex, which could be reciprocated by U.S. measures including formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War and setting up a liaison office.

 

The North Korean mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report, which was submitted to Security Council members on Friday.

 

The first summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un last June in Singapore yielded a vague commitment by Kim to work toward the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, where U.S. troops have been stationed since the 1950-53 Korean War. Trump last Thursday hailed “tremendous progress” in his dealings with North Korea, but the view in the United States is that it has yet to take concrete steps to give up its nuclear weapons program.

 

North Korea has complained the United States has done little to reciprocate its freezing of nuclear and missile testing and dismantling of some nuclear facilities. It has also repeatedly urged a lifting of punishing U.S.-led sanctions, a formal end to the war, and security guarantees. The U.N. report said sanctions were proving ineffective.

 

North Korea has said it will never unilaterally give up its nuclear weapons unless the United States first removes any threat to it. North Korea has long demanded U.S. troops be withdrawn as a condition for peace.

 

Reference: N Korea protecting nuclear missiles, U.N. monitors say, ahead of summit talks

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