Here’s where North Korea’s nukes would go if Kim Jong Un ever agrees to denuclearize

source
Reuters

  • If North Korea ever does agree to full denuclearization, White House national security adviser John Bolton believes the rogue state’s nukes should be dismantled and moved to Tennessee.
  • A separate report, from the South Korea-based newspaper Segye Ilbo, claims Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently told Kim he’d like the reclusive nation’s nuclear weapons, or at least a portion of them, to be flown to France to be dismantled.
  • Some intelligence assessments have suggested North Korea has as many as 60 nuclear weapons.

If North Korea ever agrees to full denuclearization, White House national security adviser John Bolton believes the rogue state’s nukes should be dismantled and moved to Tennessee.

Appearing on ABC News earlier this month, Bolton said denuclearization “means getting rid of all the nuclear weapons, dismantling them, taking them to Oak Ridge, Tennessee.”

It’s not clear whether Bolton believes North Korea’s nuclear arsenal should be sent to Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the nation’s largest multi-program science and technology laboratory, or the Y-12 National Security Complex, which is nearby and focuses primarily on producing nuclear weapons.

A separate report, from the South Korea-based newspaper Segye Ilbo, claims Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently told Kim he’d like the reclusive nation’s nuclear weapons, or at least a portion of them, to be flown to France to be dismantled. The South Korean newspaper reportedly learned this via a South Korean diplomat, who said “this position was directly conveyed to Kim by Secretary of State Pompeo.”

The State Department did not immediately reply with a request for comment.

Due to the limited intelligence available on North Korea’s military assets, it’s not clear exactly how many nuclear weapons it possesses. Some intelligence assessments have suggested North Korea has as many as 60 nuclear weapons.

There is widespread skepticism as to whether North Korea will actually agree to full-blown denuclearization, despite pledging to do so during a recent summit with South Korea. Trump and Kim were set to meet in Singapore on June 12 to discuss the matter further, but then Trump this week canceled that meeting.

If North Korea does agree to denuclearization, it will mark a massive shift in its behavior. In 2017, North Korea conducted a slew of missile tests as part of its larger ambition to develop a nuclear weapon capable of reaching the mainland US. This led to a war of words between Trump and Kim as well as harsh economic sanctions to be leveled against the North Korean regime.

But things took a turn early on in 2018 as North and South Korea rekindled relations for the first time in roughly two years. This ultimately resulted in dialogue between the US and North Korea and a cautious warming of relations that eventually took a turn for the worse when Kim ramped up his rhetoric again and Trump canceled their summit.