Citing satellite imagery captured May 7, US-based North Korea website 38 North said Monday that key operational support buildings have been removed at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, which North Korea said would be shut down between May 23 and 25 in the presence of journalists. Libya is a model for the "dismantlement first and compensation later" principle, which is applicable to North Korea. "It won't be easy to do", Bolton said on ABC's "This Week". Also addressed will be the North's ballistic missile program, he said, as well as its chemical and biological weapons.
Besides making surprising advances in its missile capabilities in 2017, North Korea's leadership has focused on peddling its significance to its own society and culture: the regime revised its constitution in 2012 to tout its nuclear ambitions, and despite saying it no longer needs to conduct nuclear tests, its nuclear capabilities still remain an essential part of Kim's domestic and global clout. It was once the headquarters of the secretive Manhattan Project during World War II to make the world's first atomic bomb.
Thae questioned whether a complete denuclearization could take place in a country with an "omnipotent" and "godlike" leader in power.
Satellite photos from last month showed signs of construction at the North's Yongbyon nuclear facility.
Trump is "very optimistic because he sees the chance of a breakthrough", he said, but also remains realistic and doesn't have "stars in his eyes over this".
Any cancellation of the summit, the first meeting between United States and North Korean leaders, would deal a major blow to Trump's efforts to score the biggest diplomatic achievement of his presidency.
The North's state-run Korean Central News Agency issued a rare press release last week announcing plans to use explosions to collapse all of its tunnels, block entrances and remove all observation facilities, research buildings and security posts.
The South Korean reporters will be allowed in to North Korea on a flight from Beijing, with other foreign media covering the event, on May 22.
"We talked about the fact that America has often in history had adversaries who we are now close partners with and our hope that we could achieve the same with respect to North Korea".
The US price for normalization - complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization - is one Pyongyang has never before been willing to pay, seeing nuclear weapons as the ultimate guarantee of the regime's survival.
Kim Jong-un is set to meet with Trump at a planned North Korea-US summit in Singapore on June 12. "That's what the president is going to say".
Donald Trump has praised North Korea's decision to dismantle its nuclear test site, calling it a "very smart and gracious gesture".