The agreement signed Tuesday between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un left many open questions about how the two countries will pursue denuclearization, according to a classified Israeli government report.
The Israeli foreign ministry report also says that the Trump administration backtracked on many of the demands it had said it would make in the run-up to the meeting with Kim, according to some of the classified document’s highlights published by Axios.
“Regardless of the smiles in the summit many in Japan, South Korea and the U.S. Congress doubt that North Korea is sincere in its intentions. Our assessment is that regardless of President Trump’s statements about quick changes that are expected in North Korean policy, the road to real and substantive change, if it ever happens, will be long and slow,” the report indicated.
The report also noted that Trump’s decision to halt joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea while denuclearization, a proposal known as “freeze to freeze,” was a significant reversal of Washington’s previous position. China had proposed this option last year and was completely rebuffed by the Trump administration.
The assessment appears to be in line with that of many North Korea experts, who say that the agreement between the Trump administration and the regime of Kim Jong Un contained very few concrete plans of action. Experts also noted that the two regimes likely have very different ideas about what denuclearization means.
South Korea, who lives under constant threat of an attack from North Korea, has been strengthening its military in the wake of the meeting. Seoul will soon finalize the purchase of F-35A stealth aircraft from Lockheed Martin.
Meanwhile, researchers have cast doubt on Trump’s claim that North Korea would destroy one of main missile engine testing facilities.
“Chairman Kim has told me that North Korea is already destroying a major missile engine testing site,” Trump said in the wake of the summit in Singapore on June 12, without detailing which site Kim had pledged to dismantle. But an analysis by monitoring group 38 North revealed that there is still no evidence that North Korea is destroying anything.
“38 North has conducted a survey of the North Korea’s rocket and missile launch and engine test facilities using recent high-resolution satellite imagery and has not yet identified any activity associated with the dismantlement of facilities at Sohae or any other test sites in North Korea,” the report said.