The Latest: Official: US still believes it can forge NK deal
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on reports of recent activity at missile and rocket sites in North Korea (all times local):
A senior U.S. official says the Trump administration still believes it can reach and implement a denuclearization deal with North Korea by the end of the president’s first term. That’s despite the failure of President Donald Trump’s summit in Hanoi with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to forge an agreement.
The official said Thursday that the administration is still trying to determine exactly what North Korea is doing with recent activity at several missile sites. But, the official said, the administration does not necessarily agree with analysts who believe the activity is a sign of North Korean anger following the summit.
The official was not authorized to speak to the state of negotiations with the North Koreans publicly and spoke to reporters at the State Department on condition of anonymity.
— By Associated Press writer Matthew Lee
President Donald Trump says he’s disappointed about reports of recent activity at missile and rocket sites in North Korea.
During a White House meeting Thursday with the prime minister of the Czech Republic, Trump was asked if he was disappointed about new activity detected at a research center where the North is believed to build long-range missiles.
Trump says he is “a little disappointed.”
A South Korean defense spokeswoman says the U.S. and South Korea are sharing intelligence about the activity at a missile research center on the outskirts of Pyongyang and at a separate long-range rocket site.
Trump also seemed to indicate that U.S. negotiations with the North Koreans could be long term.
Without elaborating, Trump said: “We’ll let you know in about a year.”
Satellite photos are showing new activity at a North Korean launch site, and that’s raising doubts that Kim Jong Un will ever give up his nuclear weapons efforts. Yet talks with the U.S. are continuing, and President Donald Trump is still hoping for an agreement.
The president said Wednesday his relationship with the North Korean leader remains “good,” even though Trump walked away from their high-profile summit in Vietnam last week. Trump said then that the North’s concessions on its nuclear program weren’t enough to warrant sanctions relief. And he said Wednesday he’d be “very disappointed” if reports prove true that Kim is rebuilding a launch site after promising in Vietnam to extend his ban on nuclear and rocket tests.
But meetings continue, and Trump said, “we’ll see what happens.”