North Korea is “deceiving” the United States by ramping up the production of nuclear fuel at several secret sites across the peninsula, a latest U.S. intelligence report claims.
Trump had claimed victory after the rare meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore earlier this month, saying that although no written agreement had been reached between the two countries, the pariah nation had promised to debunk nuclear missile testing, as well as close down any facilities where nuclear fuel was being produced.
“There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea,” Trump had tweeted after the meeting.
But as NBC News reports, several intelligence officials at the CIA do not take North Korea’s promises at face value, with at least five U.S. intelligence officials telling the news organization that contrary to what has been promised, Kim Jong Un is actually stepping up the production of enriched uranium across several secret sites.
This will come as a big blow to Trump, who, keeping to his promise that he made to Kim Jong Un, cancelled U.S. military training exercises in the Korean Peninsula, which was considered a big concession. One official familiar with the intelligence report said that there was unequivocal evidence that North Korea had managed to deceive the American president.
“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.”
Four other intelligence officials vouched for the latest assessment, saying there was enough evidence to show that Kim Jong Un had no intentions of keeping the promises he made to Donald Trump.
North Korea, a longstanding nuclear threat, has managed to evade the grasp of world’s leading intelligence agencies for several decades because of its unwillingness to grant any sort of foreign access to its facilities. However, the United States intelligence community has made inroads in the country long deemed a difficult spy target, and officials claimed this is not the first time that the small nuclear nation was attempting to tell the world one thing, while in its own backyard, it was planning something else altogether.
“There are lots of things that we know that North Korea has tried to hide from us for a long time,” said one U.S. intelligence official.
Bruce Klingner, a former CIA analyst and North Korea expert at the Heritage Foundation, said that the latest intelligence just didn’t fit into the narrative that wants Americans to believe that North Korea is dismantling its nuclear sites.
“The observed activity appears inconsistent with a North Korean intent to abandon its nuclear weapons programs,” he said, ruing the fact that no actual agreement between the two sides meant that Kim Jong Un cannot be taken for his word.