The Pentagon study on military and security developments in North Korea was commissioned by Congress and the final version was completed before Trump had a date with Kim. Nonetheless, it provides the latest detailed public assessment by the Trump administration of Kim's weapons program and its possible reasons for maintaining power in advance of a possible summit.
The investigation concludes that Kim's regime is trying to retain control over a population that is becoming less and less … North Korea's primary strategic goal is a continuing Kim family rule through the simultaneous development of economic and nuclear weapons programs. "
The Pentagon says the Kim regime" does not provide basic goods and services to capital and major cities "and relies on ideological intimidation to maintain order.
The report highlights the long-held view of the intelligence community, that Kim is primarily motivated by a desire to remain in power. "Eliminating perceived threats to the Kim family regime and believing that North Korea may respect it as a world power are the main drivers of North Korea's security strategy," it said.
Regardless of Kim's current motivations to hold talks with the US Several defense officials tell CNN that the US military and intelligence agencies will continue to do so It continues to use satellites to monitor weapons sites, fly aircraft near North Korean airspace, collect electronic interception programs, and cooperate with US-backed agents to collect information about Kim and his close advisors.
We can not afford to stop, "said a defense official about the need to continue to look for North Korea's strategic moves that could indicate further development or testing of its missiles and nuclear warheads.
In one of the clearest examples US military and intelligence stance, even though North Korea publicly announces the closure of its underground nuclear test this week, US satellites will continue to monitor to see whether new test sites can emerge, a CNN official said with a direct knowledge of the effort
The secret services continue to calculate how much time and equipment North Korea needs If it decides to launch a rocket, do another kind of nuclear test. The last rocket launch took place last year.
The Pentagon report also documents North Korea's cyber-weapons efforts, as well as its chemical and biological weapons program, which the US believes remains intact. It also notes that North Korea maintains a substantial conventional weapons program. This arsenal is not one of the talks with the Kim regime.
North Korea has significant artillery forces along the demilitarized zone that pose a direct threat to Seoul. In 2016, North Korea tested a new "ballistic melee missile" called KN-SS-X-9, which would allow it to reach the US garrison Humphreys, now the site of US 8th Army Headquarters, 40 miles south of Seoul.