During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats cast serious doubt on news that North Korea is now willing to give up its nuclear weapons program in exchange for talks with the United States.
“I'm quite skeptical about all of this,” Coats said. “[...] Maybe this is a breakthrough. I seriously doubt it. As I said, hope springs eternal.”
According to Coats, past administrations have made concessions multiple times to get North Korea to the table, only to see the rogue nation using that time “to further develop” its nuclear weapons program.
“North Korea has to agree to not possess nuclear capability...until that happens we cannot have an agreement with them,” he added.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 6, 2018
Earlier on Tuesday, South Korea reported that the North was willing to discuss ending its nuclear program and stop all missile testing.
“North Korea has clearly expressed its intention for denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, and if there is no military threat, and North Korea's regime security is promised, they have clarified that there is no reason to hold nuclear weapons,” South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a statement.
The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the Kim Jong Un-led nation is ready to hold “heart-to-heart” discussions with the U.S. regarding denuclearization.
North Korea has yet to independently confirm the talks of denuclearization.