US has plan to dismantle North Korea’s weapons programs within a year: Bolton

Vastavam web: White House national security adviser John Bolton said on Sunday he believed the bulk of North Korea’s weapons programs could be dismantled within a year, although some experts say the complete process could take far longer. Bolton told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Washington has devised a programme to dismantle North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction – chemical, biological and nuclear – and ballistic missile programs in a year, if there is full cooperation and disclosure from Pyongyang. He said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will likely discuss that proposal with the North Koreans soon. The Financial Times reported that Pompeo was due to visit North Korea this week but the State Department has not confirmed any travel plans.

“It would be physically possible to dismantle the bulk of North Korea’s programs within a year,” said Thomas Countryman, the State Department’s top arms control officer under President Barack Obama. “I do not believe it would be possible to verify full dismantlement within a year, nor have I yet seen evidence of a firm DPRK decision to undertake full dismantlement. ”Siegfried Hecker, a nuclear scientist and Stanford University professor, has predicted it would take around 10 years to dismantle and clean up a substantial part of North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear site.U.S. intelligence is not certain how many nuclear warheads North Korea has. The Defense Intelligence Agency is at the high end with an estimate of about 50, but all the agencies believe Pyongyang is concealing an unknown number, especially smaller tactical ones, in caves and other underground facilities around the country.