US will not accept 'incremental' disarmament, insists envoy to North Korea

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In a more alarming development, experts at California’s Middlebury Institute of International Studies, said last week that satellite images suggested that Pyongyang could be preparing to launch a missile or space rocket. 

In response to questions about what the signs of activity at rocket launch facilities meant, Mr Biegun replied: “The short answer is: we don’t know.”

He added that “the door remains open” for further negotiations. “Nothing can be agreed until everything’s agreed,” he said. 

Nuclear and North Korea analysts expressed scepticism about his statements. 

“Biegun: “Nothing can be agreed until everything can be agreed.” – a losing strategy,” tweeted Jenny Town, a Korea specialist at the Stimson Centre, a Washington think tank. 

Others commented that the insistence on full denuclearisation before the lifting of any sanctions would create a bottleneck with Pyongyang, which has consistently argued for reciprocal concessions. 

“If we don’t move off this position, we have nowhere to go,” Vipin Narang, a MIT nuclear expert, told Vox. “There’s no zone of agreement if we insist on everything — I mean everything, complete surrender — up front.”  



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