A national defense analyst says he remains skeptical that Kim Jong Un will follow through on his pledge to denuclearize North Korea.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made another trip in Pyongyang last week to meet with the regime's dictator and begin to negotiate the terms for a planned denuclearization of North Korea.
At the same time, however, U.S. intelligence reported signs that Pyongyang doesn't intend to fully give up its arsenal.
Frank Gaffney, who oversees the Center for Security Policy, says he is among those hoping that President Donald Trump succeeds in this effort.
"But I am also very skeptical that he will," Gaffney says of this peace effort. "And if he fails, one thing we know from history is the longer we defer dealing with this very dangerous situation, the more difficult it's going to be to deal with it safely and effectively."
Trump famously declared "there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea" after his June 12 summit with the dictator, though the President likely knows the regime still remains a threat.
NBC News and other media outlets reported in recent days that U.S. intelligence agencies are watching North Korea increase fuel production for its nuclear weapons at the same time the county was sitting down for diplomatic discussions.
North Korean officials also described the ongoing negotiations as "gangster-like" demands but Pompeo downplayed the comments and blamed the press for criticizing the progress made so far.
The Trump administration announced in early July that it has a plan to denuclearize North Korea's program in a year but there are also reports the regime is sneakily lying about its number of nuclear warheads and is hiding the existence of facilities used to make fissile material for nuclear boms.
"Are we in fact going to continue to exceed to the North Koreans' running out the clock," asks Gaffney, "even as the evidence grows that they are continuing to amass the means of threatening our country?"
If it is determined that North Korea is cheating and remains a threat, says Gaffney, then a decision will have to be made to deal with that problem, and it is that decision that could finally force Kim's hand, he predicts.