It’s time for North Korea to start disarming, U.S. Ambassador Harry Harris said a day after the presumed remains of as many as 55 U.S. service members missing from the Korean War were returned, Military.com reports.
Speaking to the South Korean media Thursday at his residence in Seoul, Harris said there could be no movement toward ending the state of war on the peninsula until North Korean leader Kim Jong Un starts living up to his commitment to “denuclearization,” South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.
“I think for the denuclearization to happen, we need to see the move, and I haven’t seen that yet. One of the things that hasn’t happened is the demonstrable moves toward denuclearization before we can entertain something like the end-of-war declaration. It is my hope that we move forward the issue of the end of war declaration with South Korea, This, in my view, should be an alliance decision, and we should not be precipitous in declaring an end of the war.” ~ Retired four-star Admiral and former commander of U.S. Pacific Command.
North Korea has continued its work on missile and weapons programs since the leaders met, American officials say, including manufacturing new intercontinental ballistic missiles at a facility near Pyongyang, the capital, according to one Defense Department official. And North Korea continues to produce nuclear fuel, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told senators last week.
Kim Jong Un has little interest in giving up the North’s nuclear arsenal or rolling back its progress on ICBMs, experts who have long studied North Korea’s government and its missile programs believe. The North’s weapons work, including at a facility that creates ICBMs, has continued in the weeks after the summit meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim, said Jeffrey Lewis, an arms control expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in California.
Some Trump administration officials have been frustrated that North Korea has continued its weapons work, viewing it as a violation of the spirit of the agreement between Mr. Kim and Mr. Trump.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.
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