U.S. officials believe that North Korea is still ramping up production of nuclear fuel despite agreeing to move toward denuclearization during the summit with President Donald Trump, according to NBC News, which cited over a dozen sources familiar with U.S. intelligence operations in North Korea.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made a show of halting missile tests and destroying some test sites, but officials believe that secret sites remain in the country, where nuclear capabilities are still being developed.
One U.S. official with knowledge of North Korean intelligence said that “there’s no evidence that they are decreasing stockpiles, or that they have stopped their production.”
“There is absolutely unequivocal evidence that they are trying to deceive the U.S.,” the official said, according to NBC.
Kim agreed to the “complete denuclearization” of North Korea at a summit with Trump in Singapore in June, but the latest activity on certain North Korean sites seems to run contrary to the Kim regime’s promises of disarmament.
Trump earlier declared that “there is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea,” but some officials fear that Kim’s latest agreement may be another set of empty promises designed to secure concessions from the U.S. while continuing to develop nuclear weapons.
“Work is ongoing to deceive us on the number of facilities, the number of weapons, the number of missiles,” an official said. “We are watching closely.”
As U.S. intelligence agencies continue to gather information about North Korea’s actions, any breach of the nuclear agreement by Kim could warrant a return to the tense relationship that characterized U.S.-North Korean diplomacy prior to the Singapore summit.
And all eyes are on Trump to see if he will reverse his decision to halt military exercises with South Korea in the event that the Kim regime can’t be trusted.