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Washington, May 29 (IANS) Any diplomatic agreement in which North Korea agrees to give up its nuclear weapons could take as long as 10 years to implement, according to a new analysis by US experts.
The assessment, released late Monday by the experts at Stanford University, comes as the White House is trying to verify how committed North Korea is to denuclearisation and how it could be achieved, ahead of a potential summit between the two countries’ leaders, CNN reported.
Siegfried Hecker, a nuclear scientist who has previously travelled to North Korea to inspect its nuclear site, co-authored the assessment with Robert Carlin, a Korea analyst who spent years at the CIA and State Department, and Elliot Serbin, Hecker’s research assistant.
They identified 22 specific programmes or activities, such as the country’s nuclear weapons stockpile, its missile arsenal or its nuclear reprocessing facilities, that US negotiators need to address with North Korea.
Halting or suspending many of these will likely take less than a year, the authors estimate, but eliminating or setting limits on them will take six to 10 years.
Last week, President Donald Trump abruptly cancelled his planned Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, reports CNN.
But after a flurry of diplomatic activity, Trump has hinted that the talks may be back on track. American officials are in Singapore and South Korea to prepare for the summit’s potential revival.