N. Korea Continues to Expand its Nuclear and Long-range Missile Programs
Despite what President Trump has claimed recently at his political rallies, Kim Jong-un is not dismantling his nation's nuclear weapons program. That's not a surprise to those who have observed N. Korea's negotiating strategies over the last few decades.
David E. Sanger and William J. Broad, New York Times: “The North Koreans have lied to us consistently for nearly 30 years,” Joseph Nye, who wrote one of the National Intelligence Council’s first assessments of the North’s weapons programs in 1993, said at the Aspen Institute on Tuesday."
New evidence suggests that N. Korea is still producing nuclear weapons and producing long-range delivery systems that threaten the United States.
New York Times: "North Korea is continuing to advance its nuclear and missile capability, although in less dramatic and visible ways than last year’s missile tests. Over the past two months, the North has expanded several significant programs critical to its continued production of nuclear material and the expansion of its nuclear stockpile."
... "Analysts who study satellite images say the North is firing up a large new reactor — its second at Yongbyon, its top nuclear site. Such reactors make plutonium, a main fuel of nuclear arms. The new reactor, analysts say, can make four times morethan the North’s existing large reactor, which long supplied plutonium for its nuclear arsenal."
... "Separately, American intelligence officials have found that the North is continuing to make long-range missiles at a sprawling manufacturing site just north of Pyongyang, according to news reports. Analysts who study satellite imagery say they see daily activity at the plant consistent with missile production."
As we have said before, there are no easy answers regarding N. Korea's nuclear program. But, for the Trump administration, the first step in dealing with the issue will be for the President to admit that the problem wasn't solved by his summit with Mr. Kim and that complete denuclearization is unlikely.