Mar 18, 2019 08:46 UTC
  • Bolton warns North Korea not to test missiles

US national security adviser John Bolton has warned North Korea not to renew missile tests as negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have ended in a stalemate.

The warning came after a senior North Korean official said Friday that Pyongyang was considering suspending talks on denuclearization with the United States and resuming its nuclear and missile tests.

Bolton, during a radio interview aired Sunday morning, said, “They issued an unhelpful statement saying they were thinking of going back to nuclear and ballistic missile testing, which would not be a good idea on their part.”

“The North Koreans really, unfortunately, were not willing to do what they needed to do,” he told John Catsimatidis, a New York-based radio host on AM970.

The second summit between President Donald Trump and leader Kim Jong-un collapsed last month over differences on how far Pyongyang was willing to limit its nuclear program and the degree of US eagerness to ease sanctions. Trump abruptly walked away from the talks and held a press conference shortly afterwards.

During the presser, Trump said that “he had to walk away” from the talks because of the North's demands to lift all economic sanctions against Pyongyang as a prerequisite to denuclearization.

However, a few hours later, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho offered a completely different breakdown of the summit, telling reporters in a separate presser that Pyongyang had never asked for the removal of all sanctions, but was only seeking their partial removal.

Meanwhile, the North’s Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui said Friday that on their way back to Pyongyang from the summit, Kim had told her that “for what reason do we have to make this train trip again?’”

“Whether to maintain this moratorium or not is the decision of our chairman of the state affairs commission,” she told reporters. “He will make his decision in a short period of time.”

Bolton, however, said that the US president was still willing to break the stalemate.

“President Trump wants to see this threat resolved through negotiation,” Bolton said. "He’s made a number of proposals to Kim Jong-un ... It hasn’t worked out yet, but the president still is willing to try and do it. He wants North Korea to be free of nuclear weapons, that’s for sure.”

According to a state media report published earlier this month, the people of North Korea blame the US for the collapse of the summit.

“The public at home and abroad that had hoped for success and good results from the second DPRK-US summit in Hanoi are feeling regretful, blaming the US for the summit that ended without an agreement,” the Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party, said in a commentary, referring to North Korea's official name – the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

MG

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