US National Security Adviser John Bolton warned of tougher sanctions on North Korea if it doesn’t completely comply with denuclearization in an interview with Fox News on March 7th.
The interview followed reports of satellite imagery suggesting that North Korea renewed construction on a long-range missile facility.
He also repeated that US President Donald Trump was very disappointed if it turned out it were true. The information present right now was only commercially available one and the US had lots of ways of getting information to see if whether it was true and if the facility will be ready to use immediately after the alleged construction finished.
“We have a lot of ways of getting information,” he said. “We’re going to study the situation carefully. As the president said, it would be very, very disappointing if they were taking this direction.”
Chairman Kim also wanted a relief from sanctions and then to implement the denuclearization agreement, but according to Bolton that was a lifeline used by previous North Korean regimes and it would not work again.
“The North Koreans, obviously, would like to give up as little of their nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and ballistic missile programs as they could, in exchange for a very broad sanctions relief,” Bolton said.
However, Trump denied that and said sanction relief would only follow complete denuclearization and not a step-by-step process.
Bolton also said that Trump was ready to talk to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
“The president’s obviously open to talking again. We’ll see when that might be scheduled or how it might work out,” Bolton said
But compliance to the US demands is the only way, and nothing else will bring forth a deal, according to the US National Security Adviser.
“If they’re not willing to do it, then I think President Trump has been very clear … they’re not going to get relief from the crushing economic sanctions that have been imposed on them and we’ll look at ramping those sanctions up in fact,” said Bolton.
Straits Times also cited an unnamed senior US official, according to whom the US still believed that a final, fully verified denuclearisation” of North Korea is possible by the end of President Donald Trump’s first term in 2021, despite the collapse of the latest summit with Kim Jong-Un.
The official also confirmed that Washington would seek from Pyongyang “clarifications on the purposes” of rebuilding a long-range rocket launch site, adding that so far the US has not reached “any specific conclusion about what’s happening there”.
“We’re watching in real time as you are the developments at Sohae,” he explained, adding: “We don’t know why they are taking these steps.”
The official concluded that there was sufficient time until Trump’s term ended in 2021 and that what the Trump administration was looking for were “meaningful and verifiable steps on denuclearization” that also need to be undertaken as soon as possible.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Satellite Images Show North Korea Renewed Construction Of Its Long-Range Missile Facility
- Mike Whitney: “Trump Sabotages North Korea Summit to Appease the Hawks”
- Second Trump-Kim Summit Ends Prematurely, With No Agreement