NYC rendezvous for Trump and Kim
THE Trump administration is thinking of holding a second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un in New York in an effort to get the regime to pick up the pace on denuclearisation, 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 Manhattan sit-down would work as a carrot to get Kim's government to crank up the process of denuclearisation in the coming months, 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, reports the New York Post.
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," an official told NBC News in the US. "There is absolutely unequivocal evidence that they are trying to deceive the US."
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 behaviour" 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 Face the Nation in the US over the weekend.
"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 denuclearise within a year, something Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will discuss when he meets with North Korean officials this week.
If Kim cooperates, Mr 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 US TV.
But Mr 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 said in an interview that aired Sunday. "We have a very good chemistry. "
This story was originally published in the New York Post and is reprinted with permission.