The Trump administration has presented North Korea with a formal timeline for starting the process of denuclearization — and Pyongyang has rejected it several times. It shows that even after months of talks, Washington and Pyongyang have made little progress toward ending the North Korean nuclear threat.
The details of the US-proposed timeline, which have not previously been reported, are as follows: North Korea hands over 60 to 70 percent of its nuclear warheads within six to eight months; the US or a third party — likely another country — takes possession of them and removes them from North Korea. It’s unclear what concessions, if any, the US would offer in exchange beyond sanctions relief or removing North Korea from the state sponsors of terrorism list, VOX News reports.
North Korea accused President Trumps administration on Saturday of pushing a “unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization” and called it “deeply regrettable,”. Privately, Mr. Pompeo has said that he doubts the North Korean leader will ever give up his nuclear weapons. And those doubts have been reinforced in recent days by intelligence showing that North Korea, far from dismantling its weapons facilities, has been expanding them and taking steps to conceal the efforts from the United States.
The Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party has decreed that North Korea will not relinquish its nuclear arsenal, which it termed a “precious legacy” of the country’s late leaders, according to local sources, despite an earlier pledge by party chairman Kim Jong Un to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
Kim held historic talks with South Korea’s Moon Jae-in in April, as well as an unprecedented summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in June, and agreed—in principle—to abandoning the North’s nuclear weapons program in exchange for promises of regime security and economic prosperity.
“The last speaker who ended the six-hour-long meeting emphasized that ‘nuclear is a precious legacy from the late leaders’ and ‘if there is no nuclear, there is death,’” he said. RFA reports.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho was unapologetic about the continued nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. “It is essential for both sides to take simultaneous actions and phased steps to do what is possible one after another,” he said Saturday. “Only when the U.S. ensures that we feel comfortable with and come close to it, will we be able to open our minds to the U.S. and show it inaction.”
“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. RWT News
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, has presented to North Korean negotiators a directive to disarm nuclear warheads and cease and desist nuclear facilities, multiple times over the past two months. But each time, the North Korean negotiators, led by Kim Yong Chol — a top aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un — have turned down Pompeo’s proposal.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.