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 Postreported, citing four us officials who have seen or been briefed on the latest intelligence.
Trump made the declaration after his June summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, during which the President promised Kim to stop the "war games" by ending USA military exercises with South Korea.
The report comes a week after US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis suspended the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercises, as well as two other war games with South Korean armed forces that were scheduled to take place over the next three months.
"Because Kim Jong Un has so far avoided making a commitment to halt research and development activities, the changes [at Yongbyon] are not a success or failure of the diplomatic process, but simply a signal that North Korea's nuclear infrastructure remains fully in use", Adam Mount, a director at the Federation of American Scientists, told CNN.
"But there's not any. starry eyed feeling among the group doing this that we're well, well aware of what the North Koreans have done in the past", he added.
North Korea agreed at a summit with the USA in June to "work toward denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula", but the joint statement signed by Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, and Donald Trump, the United States president, gave no details on how or when Pyongyang might surrender its nuclear weapons.
The only uranium enrichment spot North Korea has acknowledged publicly exists is Yongbyon - though reports of secret facilities have surfaced.
"What our experts have devised is a program that, with North Korean cooperation, with full disclosure of all of their chemical and biological, nuclear programs, ballistic missile sites, we can get - physically we would be able to dismantle the overwhelming bulk of their programs within a year", Bolton said, noting that full disclosure has not yet happened.
TRUMP: I made a deal with him, I shook hands with him.
"And it's to North Korea's advantage to see these programs dismantled very quickly because then the elimination of sanctions aid by South Korea and Japan and others can all begin to flow".
Pompeo told reporters the day after the Singapore summit on June 12 that Washington hoped to achieve "major disarmament" by North Korea within Trump's current term, which ends on January 20, 2021.
That project has been in limbo since the North's execution of Kim Jong Un's uncle Jang Song Thaek in 2013.
"There is absolutely unequivocal evidence that they are trying to deceive the USA", said one official.
As of now, there is little proof that North Korea intends to go down that road, longtime North Korea observers say. "We have a very good chemistry", he added.
"Work is ongoing to deceive us on the number of facilities, the number of weapons, the number of missiles", an official said. "If they have the strategic decision already made to do that, and they're cooperative, we can move very quickly", he added.
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