Mar 18, 2019 08:36 Asia/Tehran
  • John Bolton warns North Korea not to test missiles

US President's top national security adviser warned North Korea not to renew missile tests as negotiations to dismantle the regime’s nuclear weapons program have stalled out.

Iran Press/America: “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,” John Bolton said.

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

“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.”

But a senior North Korean diplomat blamed Bolton and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the breakdown. She added that Kim might end the missile testing freeze that he imposed in April of 2018 as the two sides prepared for the first Trump-Kim summit in Singapore.

“Whether to maintain this moratorium or not is the decision of our chairman of the state affairs commission,” Choe Son Hui, the North Korean deputy foreign minister, told reporters. “He will make his decision in a short period of time.”

Trump hoped to strike a breakthrough bargain with Kim Jong Un last month, when they traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam for their second face-to-face meeting in less than a year. The president ended the summit when the North Korean leader demanded that the United States provide “many, many billions of dollars” of sanctions relief in exchange for restraints on just a limited part of the North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, according to a senior State Department official.

US administration has maintained it will not give ground on sanctions until North Korea gives up its nuclear weapons, but Pyongyang has called upon Washington to alleviate sanctions following moves by Pyongyang to dismantle part of its nuclear program.

Pyongyang says Washington has betrayed the spirit of the June summit by making unilateral demands for denuclearization first without taking any reciprocal measures, including for past North Korean goodwill steps.101/202/213


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