August 10, 2018 09:38
North Korea has rejected a denuclearization timetable from the U.S., media reports said Wednesday.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had asked Pyongyang to hand over 60 to 70 percent of its nuclear warheads within six to eight months to Washington or a third party.
It is unclear what if anything he offered in exchange. "It's unclear what concessions, if any, the U.S. would offer in exchange beyond sanctions relief or removing North Korea from the state sponsors of terrorism list," Vox said.
Vox cited two people familiar with the discussions as saying Pompeo presented the timeline to North Korea numerous times over the last two months but was rebuffed each time by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's right-hand man Kim Yong-chol. "Even after months of talks, Washington and Pyongyang have made little progress toward ending the North Korean nuclear threat," it added.
According to the Washington Post, U.S. intelligence agencies estimate the North has as many as 60 nuclear warheads, but the exact number is not known, so it would be difficult to establish how many constitute 60 percent.
A source told Vox this is why Pompeo's main goal at the current stage of negotiations is to get North Korea to disclose how many nuclear weapons it has.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told reporters that the ball is in North Korea's court, adding the international community still expects Pyongyang to keep its promise to denuclearize. She said the U.S. is willing to wait if the international community wants to, but not for too long.
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