According to U.S. intelligence officials, North Korea is not looking to denuclearize in the near future – contrary to statements made by President Donald Trump – but leader Kim Jong-un might be willing to open an American fast food burger joint in a gesture of goodwill toward the American president.
A new U.S. intelligence assessment has concluded that North Korea does not intend to give up its nuclear weapons any time soon, three U.S. officials told NBC News — a finding that conflicts with recent statements by President Donald Trump that Pyongyang intends to do so in the future.
"Everybody knows they are not going to denuclearize," said one intelligence official who read the report, which was circulated earlier this month, days before Trump canceled the originally scheduled summit.
The CIA analysis also included a list of concessions Kim would consider, and among them is granting a Western fast food franchise in Pyongyang:
It suggests Kim is interested in a peaceful gesture to an American president whose love of fast-food burgers is well known — and who, during the 2016 campaign, had said he wanted to talk nukes over a burger with the North Korean leader.
The status of a potential U.S.-North Korea summit remains unclear, as Trump abruptly cancelled the meeting last week but officials from both countries are in continued discussions over the specifics of a possible June 12 meeting.
Whether Kim will agree to completely abandoned his nuclear program also remains unclear, but should he decide to go along with such plans, one nuclear expert estimates it could take as long as 15 years to accomplish:
Siegfried Hecker, a Stanford professor who once directed the federal government's Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico — and who has toured North Korean nuclear facilities four times — argued that the sprawling nature of the North Korean program means it will take a long time to dismantle. His analysis was first reported in The New York Times.