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US: North Korea Could Dismantle Nuclear Program within a Year

US: North Korea Could Dismantle Nuclear Program within a Year

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday he believes that most of North Korea's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs can be dismantled within a year.

Bolton told CBS News that if Pyongyang has already made the "strategic decision" to end its weapons development program and "they're cooperative, we can move very quickly. Physically we would be able to dismantle the overwhelming bulk of their programs within a year."

But Bolton declined to comment on a Washington Post report that North Korea is trying to obscure and hide its nuclear program even after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed at last month's Singapore summit with U.S. President Donald Trump to "work toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

"We're very well aware of North Korea's patterns of behavior over decades of negotiating with the United States," Bolton said. " We know exactly what the risks are of them using negotiations to drag out the length of time they have to continue their nuclear, chemical, biological weapons programs and ballistic missiles. There's not any starry-eyed feeling among the group doing this."

There were no details in the Singapore pact that Kim and Trump signed on how and when Pyongyang might end its nuclear weapons program. Bolton said that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would soon begin discussions with North Korean officials on details of the disarmament.

Bolton expressed optimism that Kim would carry out his country's denuclearization.

"Kim Jong Un was very emphatic several times in Singapore he was different from prior regimes," Bolton said. " Now we'll let their actions speak for themselves."

In a separate interview, Trump told Fox News that he had "a very good chemistry" with Kim at the summit and believes that Kim will carry out his announced intention to end his nuclear weapons development.

"I made a deal with him," Trump said. "I shook hands with him. I really believes he means it."

(VOA)

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