- The Washington Times - Monday, September 30, 2019

Former White House National Security Adviser John R. Bolton said Monday that North Korea doesn’t intend to give up its nuclear weapons and that the Trump administration is sending the wrong signal to other nations by shrugging at Pyongyang’s short-range missile tests.

In his first public comments since he was ousted by President Trump on Sept. 10, Mr. Bolton said in Washington that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “under current circumstances … will never give up the nuclear weapons voluntarily.”

“In fact, I think the contrary is true,” Mr. Bolton said at a forum hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “I think the strategic decision that Kim Jong-un is operating through is that he will do whatever he can to keep a deliverable nuclear weapons capability and to develop and enhance it further.”

SEE ALSO: North Korea complains at U.N. about U.S. ‘provocations’

The president has said he is willing to hold a third denuclearization summit with Mr. Kim, after their second meeting in February fell apart with no agreement on dismantling its weapons program. Since then, North Korea has conducted a series of short-range missile tests in violation of U.N. resolutions.

Mr. Trump has said repeatedly that he’s not bothered by the short-range missile testing.

Mr. Bolton said it’s a mistake for the U.S. to show indifference toward North Korea’s weapons violations.

“When the United States, having led the fight to get those [U.N.] resolutions, says we really don’t care, other countries can draw the conclusion that they don’t really care about the sanctions contained in those and other resolutions,” Mr. Bolton said. “So when you ask for consistent behavior from others, you have to demonstrate it yourself. And when we fail to do that, we open ourselves and our policy to failure.”

In a passing reference to his ouster from the administration, Mr. Bolton said of the North Koreans, “Perhaps they’ll be a little less delighted now that I can speak in unvarnished terms about the grave and growing threat that the North Korean nuclear weapons program poses to international peace and security.”

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide