North Korea steps up production of fuel for nuclear weapons

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"The officials' assessments stand in stark contrast to that of US President Donald Trump, who declared following the June 12 summit with Kim that there is no longer a nuclear threat" from North Korea.

Asia expert Patrick Cronin called the NBC and Washington Post reports "extremely worrisome". This video grab taken from footage released by China Central Television (CCTV) on March 28, 2018 shows Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shaking hands during their meeting in Beijing on March 27, 2018.

Japanese defense ministry officials were not available for immediate comment.

Trump defended his decision to suspend "war games" with close ally South Korea - a significant concession to North Korea, which so far has suspended nuclear and missile tests and destroyed tunnels at its nuclear test site but not taken further concrete steps to denuclearize.

John Bolton said top USA diplomat Mike Pompeo will be discussing that plan with North Korea in the near future.

Despite Trump's rosy post-summit declaration that the North no longer poses a nuclear threat, Washington and Pyongyang have yet to negotiate the terms under which it would relinquish the weapons that it developed over decades to deter the US.

South Korea's new president Moon Jae-in also favours a softer approach towards Pyongyang and has met Kim twice during the recent remarkable detente on the Korean Peninsula.

Bolton said the U.S.is "going to try to proceed to implement what the two leaders agreed to in Singapore" and added that a public back-and-forth over the progress of talks is unhelpful in negotiations.

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Smaller, local businesses also complained that the previous decisions put them at a disadvantage with online competitors. Buyers have to pay sales tax if they are shopping from a big box store online because many have stores in every state.

"I think it would be inappropriate and, frankly, counterproductive to achieving the end state that we're hoping to achieve", Pompeo said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said he plans to meet with Kim to "flesh out" details of the nuclear disarmament promise, but has insisted the North Korean leader is serious.

The president's troubled relationship with the media have led some to blame him for what occurred, despite the fact there's no conclusive evidence the suspect was motivated by Trump's rhetoric.

Washington has reportedly devised a programme to dismantle North Korea's weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in a year. And by the way I really believe North Korea has a tremendous future.

"Work is ongoing to deceive us on the number of facilities, the number of weapons, the number of missiles", the official said. "I don't think there's any doubt about that", he said.

Bolton said the USA has a program in the works that would allow for North Korea's nuclear program to be dismantled within a year.

Brennan noted that little happens in Russian Federation without Putin's approval, a fact Bolton said was "an interesting statement" and "something [he's] sure the president will want to pursue".

But, he added, Kim had been "very emphatic several times in Singapore he was different from prior regimes".

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