Secretary of State Pompeo is now scheduled to head to North Korea on Thursday.
The White House has characterized ongoing meetings as positive but not commented on recent news reports of US intelligence assessments saying North Korea has been expanding its weapons capabilities.
Republican Senator Susan Collins said she was troubled by the news reports. A National Security Council official told The Washington Times that they are not yet alarmed but are closely monitoring the site. Some aspects of the new intelligence were reported on Friday by NBC News.
The official said that the North Koreans had largely refused in talks with Sung Kim to respond to attempts to define the key terms of an eventual agreement, including the words complete, verifiable and irreversible.
In testimony before a US Senate committee, Mr Pompeo declined to go into specifics but suggested the scope of what the US has in mind.
He said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will likely discuss that proposal with the North Koreans soon.
Patrick Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, said US and South Korea officials had told him Pompeo would be seeking to agree to “a specific denuclearisation road map, or at least significant dismantlement steps that could fill in a roadmap”.
‘Maybe we’ll start with the White House.
“There was a buzz when I shared a glass of soju and talked with Ri Myong Hun in 2003”, Hur said.
North Korea and Washington have yet to negotiate the terms under which the North would relinquish its weapons, so Pyongyang can be expected to seek leverage in those discussions.
While Mr Trump said North Korea would see economic penalties relaxed only after he has “completely denuclearised”, Kim has advocated a “step-by-step” process. “I think they want to do it”, he told Fox’s Sunday Morning Futures in an interview that aired Sunday.
‘This has been going on for many years, ‘ he said. Have I been in deals – have you been in things where people didn’t work out? But if carried out under the right conditions, a cooperative approach could speed up the timeline for denuclearization and, if offered early, will also provide a barometer of just how serious Pyongyang is about disarming.
The analysis is now being circulated among other USA intelligence agencies to see if they concur, the first official said.
Trump defended his decision to suspend “war games” with close ally South Korea – a significant concession to North Korea, which so far has suspended nuclear and missile tests and destroyed tunnels at its nuclear test site but not taken further concrete steps to denuclearize.
Pompeo last visited Pyongyang in May ahead of the Trump-Kim summit and traveled there secretly in early April while he was director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Kim Yong Chol, considered the right-hand man of leader, was the most senior official to visit the United States in 18 years.
KELLY: So this is nine days after the summit. And, the White House said Monday, he’s traveling this week for a third time to Pyongyang to discuss nuclear disarmament. This would be a major undertaking that could build on the experience from US and Russian Cooperative Threat Reduction programs, which helped eliminate excess Cold War-era stockpiles and sites. “We are going to pursue this, and we will see what happens”.
KELLY: What meanwhile is the Trump administration saying about this new evidence? In each of his two previous trips, he met with Kim.
If North Korea is serious about dismantling its nuclear weapons program, it could do so within a year, national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday. ‘Physically we would be able to dismantle the overwhelming bulk of their programs within a year’.
Appearing on a different Sunday talk show on CBS News, his National Security Advisor John Bolton said that the United States has developed a programme to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear weapons.