Washington: With a summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un potentially as close as three weeks away, US has warned that no progress would be made without verifiable evidence of Pyongyang’s commitment to complete and “irreversible” denuclearisation.
In his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12, US President Donald Trump would seek a complete, irreversible and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
“Our policy is to ensure the complete, irreversible and verifiable denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. And that’s what he’s going to be seeking,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah told reporters aboard the Air Force One travelling to Indiana.
North Korea conducted all six of its nuclear tests at its Punggye-ri facility, buried deep beneath mountains, between 2006 and 2017. There had been speculation last week that the site was damaged beyond repair, a claim Kim seemed to rebuff. Little is known about the North’s military infrastructure so most intelligence is gleaned from satellite photos.
“We have a month and several days. And there are a number of things — provocative actions, for example, from North Korea, would not be received well. So, I don’t want to offer any hypothetical. All I’ll say is that the meeting has been agreed to, but obviously, it could be halted for any number of reasons,” Shah said with a note of caution to the North Koreans.
Shah added that Singapore was selected as the venue for the historic meeting because it had political ties with both the countries. “Singapore has a relationship with both the United States and North Korea. They can ensure both the President’s and Kim Jong-un’s security, as well as provide neutrality,” he added.
The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, has pledged to shutter a nuclear test site and invite foreign experts and journalists to witness the decommissioning in May as he prepares to meet Donald Trump as early as next month.
Kim also said there was no need for the North to maintain a nuclear arsenal if a peace treaty is formalised and relations with the US improve, according to South Korea’s presidential office.
As of now, only one day has been kept for the meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un, he said, adding that planning was still in progress.
It is possible that leaders from South Korea and China could also be present in Singapore at that time, she added.