WASHINGTON DC, USA - North Korea has already begun its denuclearization, US President Donald Trump said Thursday, June 21, after many observers greeted with skepticism the results of his historic meeting with the North's leader Kim Jong-un.
Trump's critics have responded to his confidence in the agreement struck with Kim at the summit with reminders that North Korea has never signed such a deal that it didn't later break.
North Korea has used the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground to test liquid propellant engines for its long range ballistic missiles.
In Seoul, South Korean President Moon Jae-in urged North Korea to present actionable plans on how it will scrap its nuclear program, and for the United States to swiftly take unspecified corresponding measures.
"They've said they want complete denuclearization".
"Chairman Kim promised that North Korea would destroy a missile engine test stand soon", the official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Trump boasted at a Cabinet meeting Thursday that his administration has had "tremendous success" with North Korea, adding that denuclearization had already begun.
Kim's visit to Beijing came amid strained economic relations between China and the United States as Trump threatened to slap new tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods this week.
But a day later, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned tough sanctions would remain in place until the U.S. could verify Pyongyang's "complete denuclearization".
"These things are always much better, and much more productive, if they are top-down", said a State department official. "That's not in your signed document; we agreed to that after the agreement was signed", Trump said June 12.
"There is much demand for group tours for North Korea, because of rising Chinese interest in the North after a series of its summits with China, the US and South Korea".
Mattis described the ongoing talks as part of the "usual, close coordination" between the USA and South Korean militaries.
The U.S., South Korea, Japan and the European Union have also imposed additional sanctions on Pyongyang over its nuclear and ballistic missile program.
North Korea possesses nuclear weapons in order to give them up at the flawless time.
Trump undoubtedly was referencing North Korea's demolition in late May of a nuclear test site at Punggye-ri in a remote area in the northeastern part of the country.
That could allow the lifting of UN Security Council economic sanctions that have brought about a plunge in the North's foreign trade, although the U.S. insists easing of sanctions can only come after Pyongyang shows it has ended its nuclear programs. If the North does not work seriously toward denuclearization, nothing will change in a structural sense, since diplomatic ties with the USA will not be normalized nor will any sanctions be lifted.
The U.S. and South Korea said on Tuesday that they had agreed to suspend a joint military exercise set for August.
A series of posters celebrating the April 27 Panmunjom Declaration between Pyongyang and South Korea have also been released.
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