North Korea steps up production of fuel for nuclear weapons

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On CBS's "Face the Nation", Bolton said North Korea's nuclear arsenal could be dismantled in a year if Pyongyang cooperates, adding that the program would require "full disclosure of all [of North Korea's] chemical and biological, nuclear programs, ballistic missile sites".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly plans to travel to North Korea this week to discuss denuclearization plans in a follow-up to the Singapore summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

China and the United States both hope to see the Korean peninsula free of nuclear weapons.

Xi in turn told Kim he "actively supports North Korea's reform and opening-up and will proactively cooperate with issues associated with the efforts", according to the Yomiuri.

"If they have the strategic decision already made to do that, and they're cooperative we can move very quickly", he said, adding, "It's to North Korea's advantage to see these programs dismantled very quickly" to speed the elimination of worldwide sanctions and clear the way for foreign aid.

North Korea agreed at a summit with the USA in June to "work toward denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula", but the joint statement signed by Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, and Donald Trump, the United States president, gave no details on how or when Pyongyang might surrender its nuclear weapons.

White House national security adviser John Bolton. The Defense Intelligence Agency is at the high end with an estimate of about 50, but all the agencies believe Pyongyang is concealing an unknown number, especially smaller tactical ones, in caves and other underground facilities around the country.

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Pompeo told lawmakers on Wednesday that North Korea remains a nuclear threat, but defended Trump's earlier remarks that North Korea no longer remains a nuclear threat. Trump had showered Kim with praises, calling him a "very talented man", and made security concessions in return for very little.

That project has been in limbo since the North's execution of Kim Jong Un's uncle Jang Song Thaek in 2013.

The officials insisted on anonymity to discuss sensitive assessments about a country that has always been one of the most hard targets for spy agencies to penetrate. I went there. So the papers say, "He went", oh, meaning I went to Singapore. "We had a great chemistry", Trump added.

"There's no evidence that they are decreasing stockpiles, or that they have stopped their production", one USA official told NBC. "If they have the strategic decision already made to do that and they are cooperative, we can move very quickly".

Such inspection trips have raised the prospect of Pyongyang seeking to enhance cross-border economic cooperation with China, experts said, as Beijing appears to be seeking easing of its enforcement of sanctions on North Korea.

Joel Wit, a former diplomat who helped the USA negotiate with North Korea including a nuclear agreement between the US and the regime in 1994, said the US believed the rogue regime had two sites to "enrich nuclear fuel" including Yongbyon and another, but the name of the center was not revealed.

"We know exactly what the risks are - them using negotiations to drag out the length of time they have to continue their nuclear, chemical, biological weapons programmes and ballistic missiles", he said.