North Korea steps up production of uranium fuel

He also urged North Korea to "continue (its) consultations with China" as it negotiates with the United States, the report said.

At the summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un in Singapore in June, the two leaders signed an agreement in which the North committed "to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula".

Trump earlier declared that "there is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea", but some officials fear that Kim's latest agreement may be another set of empty promises created to secure concessions from the USA while continuing to develop nuclear weapons.

The NBC report quoted USA officials who said they believe that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un might try to hide the facilities as he seeks more concessions in nuclear talks with the US.

"It has not. Physically, we would be able to dismantle the overwhelming bulk of their programs within a year", Bolton said.

"There is absolutely unequivocal evidence that they are trying to deceive the USA", the official said, according to NBC.

Mr Bolton also said: "Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be discussing this with the North Koreans in the near future about really how to dismantle all of their WMD and ballistic missile programs in a year".

U.S. officials believe that North Korea is working to hide some of its nuclear stockpile and key aspects of its production facilities from the United States, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

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.

In fact, Trump agreed to end a range of joint military exercises with South Korea, meant to act as a deterrent against the North.

Bruce Klingner, a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst, said, "The observed activity appears inconsistent with a North Korean intent to abandon its nuclear weapons programs".

"I'm confident what (Trump) intended there was, 'we did reduce the threat, '" Pompeo told a Senate panel.

However, one official pointed out that, despite the assessment, the talks between the US and North Korea were positive and Kim's decision to destroy a major missile-testing site and suspend nuclear and missile tests were a step forward.

"We gave nothing", he said.

Officials in Pyongyang are seeking to obfuscate the true number of their weapons facilities, and United States intelligence officials believe that more than just one hidden site exists.

Pompeo postponed plans to meet with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and their counterparts from India on July 6, citing unavoidable circumstances, which has fueled speculation he will make a third trip to Pyongyang.


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