June 6, 2018 / 3:39 PM / 6 months ago

Lawmakers want Trump to report on North Korea nuclear program

U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a "celebration of America" event on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 5, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican and Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill on Wednesday that would require President Donald Trump’s administration to provide a detailed report on North Korea’s nuclear program to set a “baseline” for progress on talks with Pyongyang.

The bill, seen by Reuters before its public release, is one of a series of efforts by members of Congress to have some say in negotiations ahead of Trump’s summit next week in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Ahead of the first meeting between leaders of the two countries, Trump has said he has high hopes of “doing something very meaningful” to curtail North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Last week he said he expected an eventual “very positive result” with North Korea, although he dampened expectations for a breakthrough in Singapore, saying it could take several meetings to reach an agreement.

Members of Congress have expressed concern that Trump is so eager for a deal that he will concede too much.

The “North Korea Nuclear Baseline Act” was introduced by Representative Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as lawmakers including Republican Representative Mike McCaul, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee and a senior member of the foreign affairs panel.

It would require the administration to transmit to congressional national security committees within 60 days of its enactment a report on the status of North Korea’s nuclear program.

The report would need to include the location of the country’s nuclear weapons and nuclear weapon research, development and production facilities, as well as the location of its ballistic missiles and facilities producing ballistic missiles.

Lawmakers would also ask that the report be updated and re-transmitted every 180 days.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Frances Kerry

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