Trump says North Korea talks 'going well', lashes out at critics

U.S. National security adviser John Bolton listens to question as speaks to the media after his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow Russia. Bolton said Sunday July 1 the U.S. has a plan that would

The meeting appears to be the first face-to-face contact between US officials and their North Korean counterparts since President Donald Trump met with leader Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore.

Trump defended his decision to suspend "war games" with close ally South Korea - a significant concession to North Korea, which so far has suspended nuclear and missile tests and destroyed tunnels at its nuclear test site but not taken further concrete steps to denuclearize. But U.S. intelligence agencies believe Pyongyang is concealing an unknown number, including smaller tactical nuclear weapons, in caves and other underground facilities around the country.

President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

The State Department said Mr Pompeo would leave North Korea on Saturday for Tokyo and on Sunday hold talks with both Japanese and South Korean officials.

President Trump told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo over the weekend that he believes Pyongyang is "very serious" about denuclearization.

"There's no evidence that they are decreasing stockpiles, or that they have stopped their production", one unnamed USA official briefed on the latest intelligence told NBC News last week.

CNN host Fareed Zakaria was amazed at Trump's brazen disregard for US intelligence and his poor grip on the basics of diplomacy.

Moreover, the Middlebury Institute of International Studies on Sunday released an analysis that found North Korea has recently expanded a factory complex in Hamhung that produces key engines for solid-fuel ballistic missiles. He warned this would only be possible with "full cooperation" from North Korea.

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The North Koreans were finishing construction of the plant around the same time President Trump was meeting Kim in Singapore.

Bolton on Sunday declined to comment on intelligence matters.

The one-year plan is predicated on the North Koreans "rolling over and playing dead", said Joel Wit, a former State Department official who helped negotiate a 1994 agreement that temporarily froze Pyongyang's nuclear program.

National Security Adviser John Bolton said the U.S. could dismantle the regime's stockpile in a year if Kim would cooperate. But those reported activities could add to misgivings in the United States, which has seen agreements with the North flounder before, often amid allegations of evasion or cheating.

"There's not any starry-eyed feeling among the group doing this", he said.

"We had good meetings yesterday and ... the secretary of state will be there later this week to continue those discussions", Sanders told a White House briefing.

"Ambassador Kim had a meeting just yesterday with members of the North Korean delegation, and Secretary Pompeo will be headed to North Korea later this week", she said. "Let them discuss these issues and see exactly where there might be room for progress or where we find there is no room at all".

Trump has boasted that the statement reached between the U.S. and North Korea on June 12 in Singapore resolved the old foes' nuclear stand-off, but Pompeo has been tasked with nailing down details.

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