“Officials” Attempt To Sabotage Further North Korea Talks
Above Photo: DonkeyHotey/Flickr
Several Congress people and some officials in the CIA and Trump administration try to throw a spanner into the negotiations with North Korea. They “leak” to NBC News about an intelligence assessment on North Korea’s nuclear facilities. The result is a sensationalized piece that includes no surprising facts.
North Korea has increased nuclear production at secret sites, say U.S. officials
“Work is ongoing to deceive us on the number of facilities, the number of weapons, the number of missiles,” said one U.S. official.
One of the NBC authors is Ken Dilanian who is well known for his tight cooperation with the CIA.
U.S. intelligence agencies believe that North Korea has increased its production of fuel for nuclear weapons at multiple secret sites in recent months — and that Kim Jong Un may try to hide those facilities as he seeks more concessions in nuclear talks with the Trump administration, U.S. officials told NBC News.
The intelligence assessment, which has not previously been reported, seems to counter the sentiments expressed by President Donald Trump, who tweeted after his historic June 12 summit with Kim that “there was no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.”
Analysts at the CIA and other intelligence agencies don’t see it that way, according to more than a dozen American officials who are familiar with their assessments and spoke on the condition of anonymity. They see a regime positioning itself to extract every concession it can from the Trump administration — while clinging to nuclear weapons it believes are essential to survival.
The result of the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore was a “freeze for freeze” deal. North Korea stopped its nuclear and missile testing while the U.S. stopped the large maneuvers it regularity held with South Korea’s army. Both sides agreed to further talks. North Korea made some aspirational statements about denuclearization which have the same time frame as similar aspirational statements made by the U.S. in Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). There is no time frame to reach a certain state. There is no commitment towards declaring nuclear sites nor is there a commitment to stop the production of nuclear stuff.
Trump declaration that there is “no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea” is correct in the sense that there is certainly no North Korean intent to launch a nuclear attack.
Kim Jong Un will not only “try to hide” the North Korean nuclear facilities. He will surely keep them secret as long as he can. The security of his country depend on them.
That “more than a dozen American officials” talk with NBC on that issue shows that there is a concerted operation to sabotage a possible deal. Those opposed try to move the goalposts.
While the North Koreans have stopped missile and nuclear tests, “there’s no evidence that they are decreasing stockpiles, or that they have stopped their production,” said one U.S. official briefed on the latest intelligence. “There is absolutely unequivocal evidence that they are trying to deceive the U.S.”Four other officials familiar with the intelligence assessment also said North Korea intended to deceive the U.S.
Why is it “deceiving” when North Korea continues something that it did not promise to stop? Why is it “deceiving” when North Korea rejects to submit targeting coordinates of its nuclear facilities? There is no deceiving in either.
The intelligence assessment the “American officials” (the term includes Congress staffers) talk about says that North Korea has the well known Uranium enrichment site in Yongbyon, a second one at an unnamed place and possibly a third one. All of this was known to people who read the details about the issue. They are not new and were certainly known to the CIA boss Pompeo and Trump while the negotiations took place:
Ankit Panda @nktpnd – 12:00 UTC – 30 Jun 2018
These assessments have been around since at least May, I understand, so POTUS should have been briefed prior to the Singapore summit.
The “leak” to the NBC/CIA’s Ken Dilanian lacks any surprising content. The only interesting point is that it happened at all. It demonstrates that are are serious forces who will try their best to sabotage the talks and a possible agreement.
To take the next steps towards a larger deal and towards peace on the Korean peninsula will require month of diligent and detailed talk and serious attention by senior administration officials. Until a special envoy is named to lead further talks Secretary of State Pompeo will continue the negotiations. He will visit Pyongyang next week to push the issue.
In my view the Korea talks are one of the few things the Trump administration is doing right. It is sad that many are out to destroy them.