US President Donald Trump is doing everything he can to have North Korean Leader Kim Jung-un rid his nation of nuclear weapons.
Last week, Trump said he was willing to hold a third summit with Kim, and in the meantime, would keep his harsh sanction on Pyongyang in place — even threatening to increase them.
You’d think this would be enough for Kim to come to his senses and halt any kind of nuclear activity in North Korea. And based on the last summit between the two leaders in late February in Hanoi, there was in fact genuine signs of progress being made towards North Korea’s denuclearisation.
But doubts have risen yet again, with the release of satellite images last week that shows movement at North Korea’s main nuclear site, which a US think-tank believes could be linked to the reprocessing of radioactive material into bomb fuel.
North Korea testing Trump’s resolve
According to RAW, a report released by Washington’s Centre for Strategic and International Studies claims that the satellite images of North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear site revealed five specialised railcars near its Uranium Enrichment Facility and Radiochemistry Laboratory.
‘In the past, these specialised railcars appear to have been associated with the movement of radioactive material or reprocessing campaigns,’ the report said.
‘The current activity, along with their configurations, does not rule out their possible involvement in such activity, either before or after a reprocessing campaign.’
That being said, a source familiar with US government assessments says that US experts — while admitting the possibility of reprocessing — are doubtful the movements revealed significant nuclear activity.
But Jenny Town, a North Korea expert at the Stimson Centre think-tank, says that reprocessing would be a significant play by North Korea. She says ‘because there wasn’t an agreement with North Korea on Yongbyon, it would be interesting timing if they were to have started something so quickly after Hanoi’.
Interesting? Perhaps. Smart? Not likely, given Trump’s strong resolve.
Trump set on North Korea denuclearisation
Trump has met with Kim twice in the last 12 months to facilitate North Korea’s denuclearisation.
Trump has rejected any ‘partial’ steps offered by Kim and promised the debilitating sanctions would be lifted once Kim complies to a complete hand over of all nuclear weapons and fissile material to the US.
Last week, Kim said he was only interested in meeting Trump again if the United States came with the right attitude.
A frustrating situation, but as Trump said recently:
‘It’s step by step. It’s not a fast process. I’ve never said it would be. It’s step by step’.
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