N. Korea aiming to hide ongoing nuclear production

A Japan's privately developed rocket MOMO-2 is in flames after the rocket failed to liftoff in Taiki northern island of Hokkaido Japan Saturday

The evidence collected aims to deceive the United States about the number of nuclear warheads in North Korea's arsenal as well as the existence of undisclosed facilities used to make fissile material for nuclear bombs, the officials told the Washington Post.

Pompeo told CNN last week he would not put a timeline on negotiations with North Korea, but said the Trump administration will regularly assess the regime's seriousness about abandoning its nuclear program as the USA moves toward normalizing relations with Pyongyang.

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.

Whatever Trump does, it seems clear that the Trump administration's strategy towards North Korea continues to be haphazard at best.

The NBC report quoted United States 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.

The assessment contradicts US President Donald Trump's remarks that "there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea", following a landmark summit with the North's leader Kim Jong-un on June 12 in Singapore.

Siegfried Hecker, a nuclear scientist and Stanford University professor, has predicted it would take around 10 years to dismantle and clean up a substantial part of North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear site.

White House national security adviser John Bolton. Trump had showered Kim with praises, calling him a "very talented man", and made security concessions in return for very little. North Korea experts have rejected Trump's pronouncement, however, noting Pyongyang's long history of bad faith diplomacy and the fact that Trump was only able to obtain a vague mutual commitment to denuclearization from Kim.

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The officials insisted on anonymity to discuss sensitive assessments about a country that has always been one of the most hard targets for spy agencies to penetrate.

"There is absolutely unequivocal evidence that they are trying to deceive the US", said one official. I went there. So the papers say, "He went", oh, meaning I went to Singapore.

"I think they're very serious about it", the President responded. "We had a great chemistry", Trump added.

"We're going to try and proceed to implement what the two leaders agreed to in Singapore, but rather than have a series of reports - things are going better things are not going well, they are concealing this, they're not concealing that - really it doesn't serve the goal of advancing the negotiations", Bolton said Sunday.

Washington has reportedly devised a programme to dismantle North Korea's weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in a year.

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".

Such inspection trips have raised the prospect of Pyongyang seeking to enhance cross-border economic cooperation with China, experts said, as Beijing appears to be seeking easing of its enforcement of sanctions on North Korea.

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