A top U.S. military commander said that North Korea is unlikely to give up all of its nuclear weapons or production capabilities, but may seek to negotiate partial denuclearization in exchange for international concessions.
Admiral Philip Davidson, chief of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, gave his assessment in a written statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee ahead of a hearing on Tuesday. He said the assessment is in line with that of the U.S. intelligence community.
Davidson also noted that tensions with North Korea have declined and significant progress has been made over the past year, but that the North's nuclear issue will remain the most urgent challenge for the United States until final, fully verified denuclearization is achieved.
The U.S. commander, however, said the first U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore last June was a "significant milestone" and expressed optimism for the upcoming second summit in Vietnam set for February 27th and 28th.