North Korea has not taken steps to denuclearize, John Bolton says
National security adviser John Bolton briefs the media on election interference at the White House on Aug. 2, 2018. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images) August 7 at 2:13 PM Email the author
National security adviser John Bolton said Tuesday that North Korea has not made progress toward denuclearization in a dismal acknowledgment that comes nearly two months after President Trump held a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
âThe United States has lived up to the Singapore declaration. Itâs just North Korea that has not taken the steps we feel are necessary to denuclearize,â Bolton said in an interview on Fox News Channel on Tuesday morning.
He added the United States will continue to apply pressure until Pyongyang produces results.
âThe idea that weâre going to relax the sanctions just on North Koreaâs say-so, I think, is something that just isnât under consideration,â Bolton said. âWeâre going to continue to apply maximum pressure to North Korea until they denuclearize, just as we are to Iran.â
Unlike North Korea, Iran does not possess nuclear weapons, according to U.S. intelligence agencies and international monitors. Under a 2015 nuclear accord, Iran agreed to curtail elements of its nuclear energy program that raised proliferation concerns and pledged never to âseek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons.â Trump withdrew the United States from that agreement in May.
The Trump administration has consistently sought to reassure critics that Kim will make good on his pledges to denuclearize. Last month, Trump tweeted he had âconfidence that Kim Jong Un will honor the contract we signed &, even mor e importantly, our handshakeâ in Singapore.
Yet the most tangible result of the June 12 summit so far has been last weekâs handover by North Korea of the remains of more than 50 service members killed in the Korean War. The question of denuclearization remains a separate one, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said, and U.S. and North Korean diplomats traded jabs on the issue at last weekendâs annual conference of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
At that conference, which also took place in Singapore, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo handed to North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho a letter from Trump to Kim.
Bolton revealed Tuesday the letter contained a proposal from Trump for Pompeo to make another visit to North Korea to meet with Kim.
âSecretary of State Pompeo is prepared to go back to North Korea to meet with Kim Jong Un. Weâve proposed that in our most recent letter from the president to Kim Jong Un,â Bolton said.
âThe presidentâs prepared to meet at any point,â he added. âBut what we really need is not more rhetoric. What we need is performance from North Korea on denuclearization.â
William Branigin contributed to this story.Source: Google News North Korea | Netizen 24 North Korea