Bolton: On North Korea, Trump Has ‘Impressed Beijing in a Way Prior Three Presidents Have Not’

Dictator of North Korea Kim Jong-un and President of the United States Donald Trump
Reuters/Associated Press

In his Thursday morning appearance on Breitbart News Daily, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton discussed the Gulf State diplomatic impasse with Qatar and China’s apparent willingness to get tougher with North Korea.

Reflecting on news that Secretary of Defense James Mattis made an unannounced visit to Qatar on Thursday, Bolton told SiriusXM host Raheem Kassam and co-host Steve Bannon that Qatar has “unquestionably been funding radical Islamic terrorists around the world.”

“You can’t say the others have been entirely innocent of that either,” he added.

“I think there’s an argument that that base we have [in Qatar] is critical for Central Command. What I would encourage everybody is to build on what the president accomplished in his visit to Riyadh in marshaling over 50 Arab and Muslim countries against terrorism. This is an opportunity to push that ahead, to pressure Qatar to stop funding the Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist groups, and then move from there and try and restore the unity of the Gulf countries, which we need against Iran,” he urged.

“I think we should look here to accomplish two goals: reducing Qatari support for the terrorists, but also increasing their ability to work together against the Iranian threat,” he said.

Bolton said China’s announcement of tougher sanctions against North Korea is a “mark of the Trump presidency.”

“I think he’s impressed Beijing in a way the prior three presidents have not,” he said. “The only voice of caution I would issue there is, we’ve seen this pattern from China before. They talk about enforcing sanctions, then they wait until our attention is diverted and they go right back to what they were doing before.”

“There were reports this morning, for example, in the Wall Street Journal that their food exports to North Korea have risen dramatically in the past few months. In other words, they’re stockpiling stuff in there so that later, as they ship covertly, it’s harder to find. Same thing on coal purchases, and oil exports, and the like,” he explained.

“I think Trump’s got their attention because I do think his threat of possible military force against the North Korean nuclear program is credible,” Bolton judged. “Whether we can sustain that or not, I don’t know, but I do think there’s a shift here. I think it’s undeniable that it’s attributable to Trump’s hard line on it.”

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