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Weeks before a second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the top US military commander for Asia on Tuesday echoed an intelligence assessment that North Korea is unlikely to give up all its nuclear weapons.
Although he expressed optimism about the Feb. 27-28 summit in verbal testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Admiral Philip Davidson, head of the US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM), expressed doubts about North Korean intentions in his written submission to the panel.
“USINDOPACOM’s assessment on North Korean denuclearization is consistent with the Intelligence Community position. That is, we think it is unlikely that North Korea will give up all of its nuclear weapons or production capabilities, but seeks to negotiate partial denuclearization in exchange for US and international concessions,” it said.
Last month, US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told Congress he believed it was unlikely North Korea would give up all its nuclear weapons and had continued activity inconsistent with pledges to denuclearize.
Trump has been eager to hold a second summit with Kim even though their first meeting in Singapore in June produced only vague commitments from the North Koreans and little concrete progress since.
Trump and Kim’s next summit is to be held in Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi.
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