No Signs Yet of North Korean Denuclearization
A week after U.S. President Donald Trump proclaimed North Korea no longer posed a nuclear threat, his top military official cautioned there are no new signs Pyongyang is doing anything to denuclearize.
"I'm not aware of it," U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters Wednesday at the Pentagon. "I wouldn't expect that at this point," he added. "[We're] obviously at the very front end of the process. The detailed negotiations have not begun."
Trump declared the threat of a nuclear North Korea had ended June 13, following his summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
"Everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office," Trump tweeted upon returning to the U.S. "There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!"
But a day later, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned tough sanctions would remain in place until the U.S. can verify Pyongyang's "complete denuclearization."
Pompeo has said he expects to return to North Korea in the near future to hammer out details of the U.S. deal with Pyongyang. As part of that agreement, President Trump has pledged to end U.S. and South Korea "war games."
South Korean officials this week said they had agreed to suspend the annual Freedom Guardian exercise with the U.S., originally scheduled to take place in August.
Trump Asks Military to Help House Detained Illegal Immigrants
The United States military is prepared to provide housing for men, women and children detained for trying to enter the country illegally along the country's southwestern border.
The executive order signed by President Donald Trump Wednesday calls for the U.S. secretary of defense to "take all legally available measures" to provide housing for the immigrants either at existing facilities, and to construct new facilities if needed.
"We support DHS [Department of Homeland Security]," Mattis told reporters earlier in the day, prior to a meeting at the Pentagon with the German defense minister. "This is their lead," he added "We'll respond if requested."
Already, four military installation, three in Texas and one in Arkansas -- are being considered as possible locations to house children detained at the border.
Pentagon officials say that if the sites are used, the military would not be responsible for providing security or other services.
Mattis noted this would not be the first time the military has been asked to help house civilians.