Trump-Kim summit: US Democrats seek 'complete dismantlement' of North Korea's nuclear, missile programmes

Washington: Ahead of US President Donald Trump's summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un next week, top Democratic Senators on Tuesday urged him to seek complete dismantlement of Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programmes.

"We write to express our desire for a diplomatic solution which provides for the complete dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes, as well as a broader process to address North Korea's extensive military arsenal, and to set the conditions for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula", the Senators wrote in a letter to Trump.

The letter comes ahead of the expected summit between President Trump and Kim, and specifically lists five principles through which the Senators plan to evaluate any deal the President makes with North Korea. "A successful diplomatic agreement with North Korea, along with our allies South Korea and Japan and in cooperation with China, would represent a historic accomplishment for our nation", they said in the letter dated 4 June , a copy of which was released to the press.

File images of Kim Jong un and Donald Trump. Reuters

File images of Kim Jong un and Donald Trump. Reuters

The Senators also said that Congress must act as a check on any agreement that does not live up to these principles by imposing tougher sanctions and oversight, and the Trump administration must engage Congress throughout any diplomatic process – both before and after the possible summit - given the magnitude of this effort.

In order to earn the support of these Senate leaders for any deal that provides sanctions relief to North Korea, Senator Mark R Warner, Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and others specifically outlined in the letter to Trump that a deal with North Korea must dismantle or remove every single one of North Korea's nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.

They said Pyongyang must also end the production and enrichment of uranium and plutonium for military purposes, and permanently dismantle its nuclear weapons infrastructure. This includes the destruction of test sites, all nuclear weapons research and development facilities and enrichment facilities.

The Senators sought suspension of North Korea's ballistic missile tests and disable, dismantle and eliminate all of its ballistic missiles and related programmes.

North Korea, they said, must commit to robust compliance inspections including a verification regime for North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Inspections must have complete access to all nuclear-related sites and facilities with real-time verification of North Korean compliance. A separate compliance regime for its chemical and biological weapons that prevents, detects and punishes cheating on the part of North Korea is also necessary.  These compliance regimes must include "anywhere, anytime" inspections and snap-back sanctions if North Korea is not in full compliance; the Democratic lawmakers said.

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Updated Date: Jun 05, 2018 12:10:34 IST

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