The Slatest

Intelligence Assessments Show North Korea Is Increasing Nuclear Production, Despite Trump’s Totally Ironclad Tweets

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un stands next to President Trump to pose for photos in front of the two countries’ flags during the Singapore summit on North Korean nuclear weapons on June 12, 2018.
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ANTHONY WALLACE/Getty Images

Here’s where we last left our all-conquering negotiator-in-chief on nuclear North Korea:

U.S. intelligence is reporting, shockingly, that Trump’s representation of the vague North Korea deal agreed to in Singapore last month does not align with reality. NBC News reports that American intelligence agencies believe Pyongyang has, in fact, increased its production of fuel used for nuclear weapons and maintains secret, undeclared production facilities. The continued output at hidden facilities is, according to more than a dozen American officials knowledgeable about the matter, likely part of the Kim Jong-un regime’s attempt to extract concessions from the Trump administration while holding onto its nuclear capabilities that have given it incredible leverage. Trump has already agreed to halt joint military exercises with South Korea, which is viewed as a major concession without much concrete in return.

“In recent months, even as the two sides engaged in diplomacy, North Korea was stepping up its production of enriched uranium for nuclear weapons, five U.S. officials say, citing the latest intelligence assessment,” NBC News reports. The North Koreans may have paused missile and nuclear tests, but “there’s no evidence that they are decreasing stockpiles, or that they have stopped their production,” a U.S. official briefed on the latest intelligence told NBC News. The most recent intelligence assessment also comes on the heels of a report from 38north.com that showed North Korea continuing to make advancements at its major disclosed nuclear facility at Yongbyon. “There is absolutely unequivocal evidence that they are trying to deceive the U.S.,” the official said.

North Korea got concessions out of the Singapore summit, the rest of us got tweets.