Published: Tue, October 01, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

North Korea complains at UN about US 'provocations'

North Korea complains at UN about US 'provocations'

While some analysts view the use of military force as "unimaginable" because of the damage it would wreak on Seoul and the rest of South Korea, Bolton acknowledged, he quoted General Joseph Dunford, the recently departed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as saying that allowing a North Korean nuclear weapon to land in Denver, Colorado, was what he viewed as unimaginable.

Speaking in Washington DC in some of his first public remarks following his departure from the White House earlier in the month, Bolton appeared to cast doubt on the feasibility of current administration policy towards North Korea.

At the forum, he declared his long-held belief in the need to consider military action against the North.

"It seems to be clear that the DPRK has not made a strategic decision to give up its nuclear weapons", Mr Bolton said, referencing the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Bolton, a foreign policy hawk and Trump's third national security adviser, had pressed Trump not to let up pressure on North Korea despite diplomatic efforts.

Bolton outlined what he believes are the gains North Korea has made and the proliferation threat that remains - and took a swipe at his former boss' priorities.

His remarks come as Washington and Pyongyang are expected to resume working-level talks in the coming weeks to negotiate the North's denuclearization in exchange for U.S. economic and political concessions.

Pyongyang wants relief from crushing sanctions imposed over its push for nuclear-armed missiles that can viably target the USA mainland, but Washington wants stronger nuclear disarmament steps first.

He added that Washington insists that North Korea "can get access to a bright future only when it abandons its nukes first", and this makes the regime doubt "whether a new breakthrough can be brought about... though another [North Korea]-U.S. summit talks may open".

Bolton left the White House in early September, in a departure prompted, at least in part, by marked disagreement other administration over multiple areas of US foreign policy.

"I have told Kim Jong Un what I truly believe: that, like Iran, his country is full of tremendous untapped potential, but that to realize that promise, North Korea must denuclearize", Trump said.

Though Bolton had accompanied Trump to two summit meetings with Kim, including the second in Hanoi, Vietnam, in February that collapsed without a deal, he was noticeably absent from Trump's handshake with Kim in the Korean demilitarized zone in June.

Pyongyang had bristled at that comment, which Trump said had "set us back very badly".

Earlier this month, Bolton offered scathing criticism of Trump's approach to Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan at a private event hosted by the Gatestone Institute in NY.

In advance of Monday's speech, North Korea's foreign ministry said Friday that the US had failed to follow through on summit agreements but that the North was placing hope in the USA president's "wise option and bold decision". "Our representatives are ready to attend the working level talks with the United States". "It is a time for more United States involvement and leadership on the Korean peninsula, in Asia and worldwide - more, not less". "He may try to get relief from global sanctions, he may make some concessions, but under current circumstances, he will never give up his nuclear weapons voluntarily".

"When you ask for consistent behavior from others, you have to demonstrate it yourselves", Bolton said.

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