Bolton: North Korea Hasn’t ‘Taken Effective Steps’ to Denuclearize

On Monday’s “PBS NewsHour,” National Security Adviser John Bolton stated that North Korea has not “taken effective steps” to denuclearize.

Bolton said, “[W]hat was significant about Singapore was the North Korean commitment to denuclearize, and they have not taken effective steps to do that. Let’s just take the decision to close the entrances, as you correctly say, to the Punggye-ri nuclear test site. That was done before the agreement. There were no international observers present really to inspect what was done. There were some, you’ll forgive me, representatives of the media who were kept at a distance and not shown anything, except the bright explosion. And I think the view in South Korea and elsewhere is that that test site is not necessarily disabled.”

He continued, “That’s why, when you engage in the process of denuclearization, you need international inspection, you need declarations of what North Korea has, you need observers and inspectors who can verify exactly what’s happening. That needs to take place in a process of negotiation. We’ve asked again recently for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to return to Pyongyang to meet again with Kim Jong-un on this subject. We’re not looking for rhetoric here. We’re looking for performance of North Korea’s own commitment, made to us, made to South Korea beforehand, to denuclearize.”

Nick Schifrin then asked, “Are you suggesting North Korea is not living up to that commitment?”

Bolton responded, “I’m suggesting President Trump has held the door open for them. They need to walk through it.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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