A senior U.S. defense official says North Korea will soon be presented with a timeline of “specific asks” from the U.S. to implement a bilateral agreement signed at a historic leaders’ summit in Singapore, Reuters reports.
“We’ll know pretty soon if they’re going to operate in good faith or not,” the official, who requested anonymity, told Reuters. “There will be specific asks and there will be a specific timeline when we present the North Koreans with our concept of what implementation of the summit agreement looks like.”
Details of the timeline were not disclosed, but the official suggested that the timeline would be quick enough to determine Pyongyang’s commitment level. Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he would return to Pyongyang “before too terribly long” to work out details in the wake of the June 12 summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
At the summit, the first meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader, Kim promised “major change” and agreed to work towards “complete denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula. In exchange, the U.S. halted joint military exercises with South Korea, which the North views as practice for an invasion.
“The large, joint, combined exercises have been suspended,” said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. “We’ll see if the continuing negotiations keep them that way.”
Earlier this month in Seoul, Pompeo said he would be taking the lead on the negotiation process with North Korea. The secretary said sanctions will remain on North Korea until complete denuclearization is achieved, and said he hopes to see major disarmament within Trump’s current presidential term, Reuters reports.