The Trump administration is thinking of holding a second summit between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in New York City in an effort to get the regime to pick up the pace on denuclearization, according to a report on Monday.
The meeting, which would be timed with the United Nations General Assembly convening in September, would only be held if Pyongyang shows progress in getting rid of its nuclear and ballistic weapons, Axios reported.
Administration officials say the Big Apple sitdown would work as a carrot to get Kim’s government to crank up the process of decnuclearization over the summer, the report said.
Round two would come just three months after the two leaders met in Singapore and as news reports over the weekend say North Korea has continued to work on its nuclear stockpile and is trying to hide its missiles.
While Pyongyang has stopped missile and nuclear weapons tests, “there’s no evidence that they are decreasing stockpiles or that they have stopped their production,” a US official told NBC News. “There is absolutely unequivocal evidence that they are trying to deceive the U.S.”
National Security Adviser John Bolton said he wouldn’t comment on intelligence matters, but said the administration is “very well aware of North Korea’s pattern of behavior” while negotiating with the US.
“We know exactly what the risks are of them using negotiations to drag out the length of time they have to continue their nuclear, chemical, biological weapons programs and ballistic missiles,” he said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
”There’s not any starry-eyed feeling among the group doing this,” he added.
But Bolton also said the US has a plan for Kim to decnuclearize within a year, something Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will discuss when he meets with North Korean officials this week.
If Kim cooperates, Bolton said, the process would happen quickly.
”It’s to North Korea’s advantage to see these programs dismantled very quickly, because then the elimination of sanctions, aid by South Korea and Japan and others can all begin to flow,” he said on CBS.
But Trump, who tweeted after his summit with Kim that Americans could “sleep well tonight” because the nuclear threat from North Korea is over, said he believes Pyongyang will keep their word to disarm.
”I think they’re very serious about it. I think they want to do it,” he told Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures” in an interview that aired Sunday. “We have a very good chemistry.”
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