Bolton: Some time may pass before a third Trump-Kim summit

Mar 12, 2019, 01:08
Bolton: Some time may pass before a third Trump-Kim summit

Refusing to comment specifically Bolton said "there's a lot of activity all the time in North Korea" and added: "Nothing in the proliferation game surprises me anymore".

"I think Kim Jong-un has a very clear idea of where the president stands, what the objectives he's trying to achieve are".

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held their second summit last month in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The president has been very clear that he doesn't want to make the same mistakes as past administrations, Bolton said.

"We've seen a lot in North Korea", he said.

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"I think it remains good".

"The president said repeatedly that he feels the absence of nuclear tests, the absence of ballistic missile launches is a positive sign".

However, the prospect of North Korea receiving no concessions until satisfying such a widely defined US version of "full denuclearization" - the unilateral elimination of all its nuclear, chemical, biological and ballistic missile facilities - appears unrealistic to many analysts.

But after last month's ultimately fruitless summit with the United States, North Korea has started rebuilding a portion of a facility previously used to test long-range missile engines, according to USA organizations that monitor the nation.

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Trump and Kim first met in Singapore in June 2018, producing only a North Korean commitment to "work towards complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula".

"Kim could use a launch to demonstrate at the 14th Supreme People's Assembly, probably in mid-April, that he has not been cowed by sanctions", said former USA negotiator Joel Wit, now the director of the respected 38 North website.

In the interview, Bolton had also said that Washington is watching North Korean activities "unblinkingly".

"It's one reason why all of the pundits and all of the experts predicting a deal in Hanoi were wrong, because the leverage is on our side right now, not on North Korea's", he said.

As North Korea appears to be preparing for a potential missile launch, a report from the Los Angeles Times reports that the North Korean regime is simultaneously lobbying for increased humanitarian aid through the United Nations, for assistance with a food shortage in the country. A satellite launch in April 2012 killed off an Obama administration deal for a freeze in North Korean nuclear and missile testing reached weeks earlier.

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Bolton called the incremental approach North Korea has sought a "ploy" to obtain sanctions relief.