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Donald Trump Just Gave Up on His Biggest Goal for the North Korea Deal and People Know Exactly Why

(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on November 12, 2018 shows North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un(L) during the Inter-Korean summit in the Peace House building on the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom on April 27, 2018, and US President Donald Trump during a post-election press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on November 7, 2018. - North Korea is operating at least 13 undeclared bases to hide mobile, nuclear-capable missiles, a new study released November 12, 2018 has found, raising fresh doubts over US President Donald Trump's signature foreign policy initiative. Trump has hailed his July summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as having opened the way to denuclearization of the divided peninsula, defusing tensions that less than a year ago brought the two countries to the brink of conflict. (Photos by Korea Summit Press Pool and MANDEL NGAN / various sources / AFP) (Photo credit should read KOREA SUMMIT PRESS POOL,MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump's team of negotiators will no longer require North Korea to verify its denuclearization efforts, NBC News reported Wednesday evening.

The stunning development is a massive defeat for the president, who is attending a second summit with dictator Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam.


The news completely undermines messaging from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, who in January promised Trump and Kim would "discuss relations between the two countries and continued progress on North Korea’s final, fully verified denuclearization.”

Trump falsely boasted the day after his first summit with Kim in Singapore last June that "there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea."

Twice.

The focus of the latest round of negotiations was supposed to be the Yongbyon nuclear reactor, which is a "the heart of North Korea’s nuclear program," Dr. Siegfried Hecker, a nuclear scientist familiar with the site, said to NBC.

Shutting down Yongbyon would strike a huge blow to North Korea's ability to enrich plutonium, the fissile material used in conventional and low to moderate-yield atomic weapons.

NBC noted that even though North Korea has offered to pause operations at Yongbyon in past negotiations with the West, the United States has little to offer in exchange, aside from conceding to Kim's demands for sanctions relief.

NBC alluded to recent reports indicating that the North Koreans have actually scaled up their nuclear program in recent years, despite what Trump and the White House have claimed.

"In recent months researchers have discovered that North Korea has as many as 20 undisclosed ballistic missile sites, according to Beyond Parallel, a project sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a defense think tank. One of the sites is the Sino-ri Missile Base about 130 miles north of the demilitarized zone between North Korea and South Korea, where about 28,000 U.S. troops are stationed."

Nobody knows precisely what Trump and Kim will discuss when they meet behind closed doors on Thursday, and the president's unpredictability is bolstered by what he told the Washington Post last fall. Trump said his "gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.”

In other words, the administration's latest concession could mean that efforts to denuclearize North Korea will end up being completely pointless.

American officials "have argued that such a declaration should be gained early in talks given the intelligence assessment that Kim does not intend to denuclearize and that North Korea has a history of concealing sites," NBC wrote.

"Even if North Korea provided a list of locations," officials told NBC, cautioning that "it wouldn’t make much of a difference because a dismantling of them would require a vigorous verification process to which Kim is unlikely to agree. There haven’t been any inspectors on the ground in North Korea during the current talks."

Plutonium enrichment is not the only concern regarding North Korea's nuclear capabilities, however. Recall that in 2017, Kim detonated a 100-kiloton hydrogen bomb, which relies on fusing isotopes of hydrogen - the same process that powers the Sun - rather than splitting atoms of uranium or plutonium.

Fusion or thermonuclear devices have much greater destructive power than fission bombs.

Nevertheless, one thing is clear: Donald Trump is an abysmal negotiator.

You know who is really about this?

Why, Russia, of course.

Honestly, what were we expecting?

Raise your hand if you are fed up with winning.

Sleep tight.