Published: Sat, June 23, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

No sign of North Korea dismantling nuclear weapons, Mattis admits

No sign of North Korea dismantling nuclear weapons, Mattis admits

North Korea suspended nuclear and missile testing when the peace process began earlier this year, and has committed to dismantling its entire nuclear weapons program.

Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a historic summit last week in Singapore, and said in a news conference afterwards that Kim had agreed to return the remains of usa soldiers.

Promoted to commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) last month, Admiral Philip Davidson gave the assurance during his first official visit to Japan for two days of talks with Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera.

China backs the North's call for a "phased and synchronous" approach to denuclearization, as opposed to Washington's demand for an instant, total and irreversible end to the North's nuclear programs. The official described it is as a major center that has been used for testing engines for long-distance missiles.

The Koreas last held family reunions in 2015 before relations worsened because of North Korea's accelerated pursuit of nuclear long-range missiles and the countering hard-line policies of Seoul's conservative then-government.

A stamp printed in North Korea shows Propaganda Liberation Army fighting U.S. troops, circa 1972.

Trump and Kim also agreed on the repatriation of the remains of American soldiers killed during the 1950-1953 Korean War.

The president's comments, however, ran counter to remarks Defense Secretary James Mattis made the day before. Mattis answered: "No, I'm not aware of that".

1 million bpd output rise "good target", says Al-Falih
Benchmark Brent crude jumped $2.19 a barrel, or nearly 3 percent, to a high of $75.24 before slipping to around $75 by 1305 GMT. The current standoff was partially triggered by the United States, with Trump calling directly on Opec to raise output.

He added: "The detailed negotiations have not begun".

Speaking at a meeting of his Cabinet at the White House, Trump said: "They've stopped the sending of missiles, including ballistic missiles". They're blowing it up.

Researchers are debating the significance of that promise.

The two leaders had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on the current development of China-DPRK relations and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

That could allow the lifting of UN Security Council economic sanctions that have caused a plunge in North Korea's foreign trade, although the USA insists that easing of sanctions can only come after the North shows it has ended its nuclear programs. "But this is obviously a big if".

The move will only be significant if North Korea takes more than cosmetic steps to fully shutter the site, not just the test stand, said Melissa Hanham, a senior research associate at the James martin Centre for Nonproliferation Studies. "In fact, it was actually four of their big test sites", he said.

It conducted its most powerful nuclear test a year ago and has sought to develop a missile capable of hitting the United States mainland. The Trump administration's approach is "flipping the whole thing on its head", said one official. The since-demolished Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site is indicated as the "nuclear test facility" in the country's northeast. During the demolition, a group of journalists, including from The Associated Press, witnessed a series of huge explosions that centered on entrances to three tunnels.

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