- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 29, 2018

With a historic summit looming, National Security Adviser John Bolton said Sunday that North Korea must abandon its entire nuclear program before U.S. economic sanctions are lifted.

Asked if President Trump would insist that North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un first give up “all of his nuclear weapons, all of his nuclear fuel, all of his ballistic missiles,” Mr. Bolton replied in the affirmative.

“Yes, I think that’s what denuclearization means,” Mr. Bolton told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”

Could North Korea keep some of its nuclear infrastructure? “I don’t see how that’s possible,” he said.

Mr. Bolton compared the situation to Libya in December 2003, when then-Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi agreed to abandon his country’s nuclear-weapons program as well as weapons of mass destruction in exchange for a temporary seat on the U.N. Security Council and other guarantees.

A meeting between President Trump and the leaders of North Korea and South Korea is expected within the next month, a historic breakthrough that Mr. Bolton attributed to the administration’s relentless pressure on the communist nation.

“I think that the maximum pressure campaign that the Trump administration has put on North Korea has, along with the political military pressure, has brought us to this point,” he said.

For support, he cited statements by President Moon Jae-in of South Korea and other world leaders.

“President Moon of South Korea for example has been very clear that but for the pressure, the economic pressure, the political military pressure that President Trump has put on North Korea, we would not be where we are today,” Mr. Bolton said.

He noted that North Korea has agreed to give up its nuclear program in the past, although “they’ve also lied about it and broken their commitments” and that the administration isn’t “starry-eyed” such promises.

In a joint statement Friday, the Korean nations called for a nuclear-free peninsula, but Mr. Bolton said the White House hasn’t committed to keeping its nuclear-capable ships and aircraft out of the region.

“I don’t think it binds the United States, no,” Mr. Bolton said.


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