Mark Warner questions Trump administration on North Korea denuclearization

mark warnerSen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, today sent a letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats asking whether assessments by our nation’s Intelligence Community align with the Trump Administration’s public pronouncements regarding North Korean denuclearization.

On July 8, 2018, following talks with North Korean officials, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “We had detailed, substantive conversations about the next steps toward a fully verified and complete denuclearization… There will be verification connected to the complete denuclearization. That’s what President Trump and Chairman Kim both agreed to.”

A joint statement issued by the President and the North Korean leader on June 12, 2018, similarly stated that “Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

Additionally, on June 13, 2018, the President declared via tweet that “everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat [sic] from North Korea.”

In light of those statements, Sen. Warner asked DNI Coats to produce and deliver to the congressional intelligence committees a definitive IC assessment regarding:

  • The willingness of Kim Jong Un to take concrete measures that would significantly reduce North Korea’s nuclear weapons stockpile or nuclear production capability in a way that would match his supposed commitment to “complete denuclearization”;
  • The willingness of Kim Jong Un to accept the kind of intrusive inspections that would verifiably demonstrate that North Korea has abandoned and dismantled its nuclear program;
  • What a complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization process would look like from the IC’s perspective; and
  • A description of how North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile program presents a persistent threat to the United States, U.S. territories, and our allies.

A copy of Sen. Warner’s letter to DNI Coats is available here.

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