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N. Korea unlikely to give up nuclear weapons, says US National Intelligence chief

Pyongyang is unlikely to give up its nuclear-weapons capabilities despite recent moves indicating that it was open to such actions, US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said on Tuesday. Coats’ assessment, in testimony before a Senate panel, clashed with President Donald Trump’s periodic upbeat assessments of North Korea’s commitment to denuclearization since his meeting with Kim Jong-un last June. Coats said North Korea has halted the “provocative behavior” related to weapons of mass destruction, has not conducted any nuclear missile tests in more than a year, and has dismantled some of its nuclear infrastructure, Reuters reports. “We currently assess that North Korea will seek to retain its WMD capabilities and is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capabilities because its leaders ultimately view nuclear weapons as critical to regime survival,” Coats added.