Millennium Post

Timeline for denuclearisation?

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo may keep reiterating North Korea is "of course" closer to denuclearisation but thanks to Kim Jong Un, Pyongyang will take its own sweet time, if at all. But the ever hopeful Pompeo had acknowledged to reporters Kim was behaving in a "manner inconsistent" with international calls for him to set aside his nuclear programme. "Chairman Kim made a commitment to denuclearise. The world demanded that he do so in the UN Security Council resolutions. To the extent they are behaving in a manner inconsistent with that, they are in violation of one or both of the UN Security Council resolutions," Pompeo said. "We can see we still have a ways to go to achieve the ultimate outcome we're looking for." Pompeo had told a Senate panel on July 26 that North Korea continued to produce weapons-grade fissile material. Last week, new indicators, including satellite images, show that North Korea could be building new liquid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missiles. According to Pompeo "the ultimate timeline for denuclearisation will be set by Chairman Kim, at least in part. The decision is his." In exchange for Pyongyang's denuclearisation, Pompeo reiterated US pledges to improve its relationship with North Korea and "put the North Korean people on a trajectory towards a brighter future very quickly." North Korea has recently indicated that it feels the ball is in Washington's court and wants the US to make a "bold move" before it takes any further steps on denuclearisation. North Korean officials want the US to replace the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War with a formal peace treaty that ensures the survival of Kim's regime, North Korean sources have it. The North Koreans feel they have already made ample gestures, including freezing missile testing, dismantling some nuclear sites and returning the remains of US soldiers who died in the Korean War. According to Pompeo sanctions would remain in place "until we have full denuclearisation in North Korea."

"The United States will continue to enforce UN and US sanctions and shut down illicit revenue streams to North Korea," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement." Our sanctions will remain in place until we have achieved the final, fully-verified denuclearisation of North Korea." The sanctions follow a Thursday tweet from Trump thanking Kim after 55 cases of what might be the remains of American soldiers killed in the Korean War arrived back on US soil. Be that as it may, developments following the Singapore Summit indicate that Pyongyang is in no hurry to get rid of its nuke power. Irrespective of sanctions, it continues its plan with the audacity that has left others stumped.

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