- Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un pledged to work toward “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula in a joint statement after their meeting last month.
- But the language was vague, and satellite images have suggested that North Korea is continuing work on its nuclear program.
- Trump administration officials are reportedly proposing a second meeting between the two leaders in September to encourage Kim to make good on the denuclearization pledge.
White House officials are reportedly looking to schedule a second meeting between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump in New York City this September, in an attempt to progress from the two leaders’ first summit in Singapore.
The meeting would take place during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), an annual gathering for world leaders in New York’s Midtown East, Axios reported on Monday. This year’s UNGA will take place from September 18 to September 30.
Trump and Kim pledged after their June 12 summit to work toward “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula, but experts have criticised its vagueness and absence of language committing North Korea to the US’s goal of “complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization” – which Pyongyang has routinely refused to carry out.
John Bolton, Trump’s national security advisor, said on Sunday that the US plans for North Korea to dismantle its chemical, biological, nuclear, and ballistic missile programs in a year’s time.
Trump could dangle a second meeting in New York as an incentive for North Korea to follow that timeline, officials told Axios.
Some North Korea experts, however, have questioned Pyongyang’s willingness to make good on Trump’s nuclear goals.
Satellite images taken nine days after the Singapore summit showed North Korea continuing to build on the infrastructure at a key nuclear reactor.
A senior US intelligence official also said last week that Pyongyang was continuing to “deceive us on the number of facilities, the number of weapons, the number of missiles.”
Victor Cha, the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, also told Axios that the Trump administration “needs to get a commitment to a full declaration” and have international experts in North Korea “sealing stuff and installing cameras” to ensure North Korea sticks to its promises.
If Kim does visit New York in September, it will be the longest journey he has ever taken as North Korean leader.
Kim has sent his officials to UNGA in the past, but never been himself. At the gathering last year, the country’s foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, called Trump “a mentally deranged person full of megalomania” who made a North Korean nuclear attack on the US “inevitable all the more.”
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