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North Korea maintaining its nuclear weapons, UN told

There are signs that North Korea is “still maintaining its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs,” Rosemary di Carlo, the United Nations political affairs chief, told the UN Security Council on Monday.

She said Yukiya Amano, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), reported in May that “the agency had observed nuclear signatures consistent with the continued operation of a plutonium production reactor, radiochemical laboratory and alleged uranium enrichment facility at Yongbyon.”

Nothing appears to have changed since May, as Amano said on the same day that North Korea’s “nuclear activities are clear violations of UN Security Council resolutions and are deeply regrettable.”

But Di Carlo “welcomed the positive announcements made by North Korea with regards to ending nuclear testing”.

The UN political affairs chief spoke at a briefing on the implementation of sanctions against North Korea requested by the United States Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.

US President Donald Trump met the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12 and repeatedly insisted that the nuclear threat from North Korea was ending.

But his National Security Adviser John Bolton admitted in an August 15 interview with Fox News that “the United States has lived up to the Singapore declaration. It’s just North Korea that has not taken the steps we feel are necessary to denuclearize.”

According to a July 17 report by the Brookings Institution: “The only significant step North Korea has taken toward addressing US and allied concerns has been its suspension of nuclear and missile tests, which Kim announced in the run-up to his April meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, not with President Trump.”

The White House has reportedly agreed to a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un but no place or date has been set for the meeting, and the two countries appear deeply divided on how to achieve denuclearization on the Korean peninsula.

South Korean leader Moon Jae-in is currently in Pyongyang to try to push the peace process forward.

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