Senators propose bill to keep tabs on talks

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Senators propose bill to keep tabs on talks

WASHINGTON - Two senators introduced a bill on Tuesday calling for greater congressional oversight of the U.S. government’s negotiations with North Korea on its nuclear weapons.

Under the bill, U.S. President Donald Trump would be required to submit a progress report to relevant congressional committees.

The first report would be due 90 days after the bill’s enactment, and then every 180 days afterward. The report would include, among other things, a summary of ongoing efforts to “achieve peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

An assessment of a road map toward that goal as well as the elimination of nuclear and ballistic missile threats posed by North Korea will have to be included.

The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Bob Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, and Cory Gardner, Republican of Colorado, comes on the heels of a historic summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on June 12.

In their joint statement, Kim committed to working toward “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula in return for unspecified security guarantees from the United States. Follow-up negotiations are expected to begin in the coming days with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

If an agreement is reached with North Korea, Trump will be required by the legislation to send it to the committees within five days along with a verification assessment report prepared by the secretary of state.

That report would assess the extent to which Pompeo will be able to verify North Korea’s compliance with the agreement and whether the United Nations and other international organizations, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency, will have access to all nuclear and missile facilities, both declared and undeclared, and the ability to “investigate suspicious sites or allegations of covert nuclear-related activities.”

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