Trump Says Kim Jong-un's Hanoi Offer Not Good Enough

  • By Yang Seung-sik

    May 21, 2019 11:56

    U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday claimed that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un offered to scrap just one or two out of five nuclear sites in the North when they met in Hanoi in February.

    "When I left Vietnam where we had the summit, I said to Chairman Kim -- and I think very importantly I said, 'Look you're not ready for a deal,' because he wanted to get rid of one or two sites, but he has five sites," Trump told Fox News. "I say, 'What about the other three sites? That's no good -- if we're going to make a deal, let's make a real deal.'"

    Military insiders think the five sites Trump mentioned constitute the core facilities among 30 nuclear facilities scattered throughout the communist country that have been identified by U.S. and South Korean intelligence agencies.

    They include the country's main reactor in Yongbyon in North Pyongan Province, about 100 km north of Pyongyang, and Kangson, an industrial belt south of the North Korean capital.

    Some media reports prior to the Hanoi summit said the North's facilities in Kangson produce more nuclear weapons than Yongbyon. Other nuclear sites are believed to be in Pyongsan, North Hwanghae Province, Pakchon, North Pyongan Province and Hagap, Jagang Province, where uranium mines, refining factories and enrichment facilities are concentrated.

    A military source said, "Around 40 kg of highly enriched uranium is estimated to be produced annually in Yongbyon, while the North can produce 120 kg of highly enriched uranium a year if the other facilities are combined. It takes 25 kg of highly enriched uranium to produce one nuclear bomb, so North Korea can produce five nuclear bombs a year."

    But Trump was still boasting of his successes. "I think that if you look, when I went to North Korea there were nuclear tests all the time, there were missiles going up all the time. We had a very rough time there, then we got on, we'll see what happens right now. But, they haven't had any tests over the last two years -- zero." 

    In fact, the North fired several missiles only last week.

    "There's a chart and it shows 24 tests, 22 tests, 18 tests. Then I come, and once I'm there for a little while, you know, we went through a pretty rough rhetorical period."

    Right after the Hanoi summit collapsed, Trump said he wanted to achieve "plus alpha" in addition to the Yongbyon nuclear site. He claimed that Kim appeared "surprised" that U.S. intelligence was aware of the additional nuclear sites.

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