US Vice President Mike Pence revealed on Thursday that the US is moving ahead with plans for a second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, despite evidence that North Korea has not halted its missile development plans after promising to do so when Trump and Kim met in Singapore for the first time, this past July.
Earlier this week, new satellite images showed that North Korea has continued to move forward with upgrading its ballistic missile program at 16 secret sites.
The latest satellite images come a week after the US pulled out of a top-level negotiation between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean representative Kim Yong Chol. Efforts to reschedule the negotiations failed when North Korea pulled out of the renegotiations that were supposed to be held at New York.
Vice President Pence revealed that President Trump is not expected to request a list of North Korea’s nuclear sites at the second summit although the US is asking North Korea to come up with a “verifiable plan” as it pertains to denuclearization.
Pence said: “Now we need to see results. I think it will be absolutely imperative in this next summit that we come away with a plan for identifying all of the weapons in question, identifying all the development sites, allowing for inspections of the sites and the plan for dismantling nuclear weapons.”
President Trump’s decision to not ask North Korea to provide the US with a list of nuclear sites, despite the US’ previous demands that North Korea needs to give the US a thorough accounting of their missile development program, has largely been seen as a concession to Kim.
Although the Trump administration reportedly does not see North Korea’s non-compliance as a barrier to a stronger relationship between the two nations, Vice President Pence said that the US will not lift sanctions against North Korea until it makes good on its word.
According to the Center for Strategic Studies, North Korea must provide a full list of all missile sites and military weapons development operations before the US allows concessions or goes ahead with negotiations.
Researchers from the centre told NBC: “We can’t negotiate over things they don’t admit having. It should take us back to the initial U.S. negotiating point: We need a full declaration.”