Donald Trump’s claim that North Korea has already started the process of ‘total denuclearisation’ following his landmark summit is apparently not quite right.
The US President said on Thursday that North Korea was blowing up four of its big test sites, but according to officials, there’s no evidence of such activity.
At a Cabinet meeting at the White House, Mr Trump said: “They’ve stopped the sending of missiles, including ballistic missiles. They’re destroying their engine site. They’re blowing it up. They’ve already blown up one of their big test sites, in fact it’s actually four of their big test sites.
“And the big thing is it will be a total denuclearisation, which has already started taking place.”
But despite the President’s claims, US officials have reportedly said that there is no evidence to suggest any moves have been made to dismantle any sites since Mr Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12.
According to Reuters, the officials – speaking on condition of anonymity – speculated he may have been referring to explosions last month that North Korea said were to destroy tunnels at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site and the dismantling of a medium-range ballistic missile test stand at Iha-ri, also in May.
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The US Department said there had been contact with North Korean officials since the summit and a spokeswoman said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “will be meeting with them and talking with them at the earliest possible date” to implement what was agreed in Singapore.
Asked on Wednesday if North Korea had done anything toward denuclearisation since the summit, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters: “No, I’m not aware of that … obviously, it’s the very front end of a process. The detailed negotiations have not begun. I wouldn’t expect that at this point.”