US intelligence agencies assess that North Korea has increased production of fuel for nuclear weapons at multiple secret sites in recent months.
The findings, confirmed by “more than a dozen American officials”, contradict Donald Trump’s proclamation, after his June 12 summit with Kim Jong-un, that “there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea”.
The officials believe Kim, far from dismantling the nuclear program, may try to hidefacilities as he seeks more US concessions in negotiations.
Trump made the first concession at the summit, surprising both the US and South Korean militaries with the suspension of joint military exercises — “war games”, in the words of both North Korea and Trump — that have been held for decades.
One official said, while the North Koreans have stopped missile and nuclear tests since last November, “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 US.”
“Four other officials familiar with the intelligence assessment” concurred.
The US intelligence community has long assessed that North Korea has at least one undeclared facility to enrich nuclear fuel aside from Yongbyon, its main site.