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Bolton criticizes the Trump court in North Korea



WASHINGTON – In his first public comment following his departure from the White House, John R. Bolton, a former national security adviser, issued a stern warning Monday on President Trump's approach to North Korea, undermining the president's longstanding insistence on North Korea wants to conclude a denuclearization deal with it.

Without mentioning Mr Trump by name, Mr Bolton, a longtime critic of the North Korean regime, made it clear that he considered the president's approach to diplomacy with Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader only increasing the strength of North Korea. And while Mr Trump has made a deal with North Korea on one of his signed foreign policy goals, Mr Bolton has pointed out that there has been no gain in this charming offensive approach.

"The strategic decision that Kim Jong Un is acting through is that he will do everything in his power to maintain and develop and refine nuclear weapons," Mr. Bolton said Monday during a speech at Washington. "Under the present circumstances, he will never voluntarily give up nuclear weapons."

Mr. Bolton was removed from the Trump administration less than a month ago amid controversy over how to handle major foreign policy challenges, including North Korea.

"North Korea shoots with a small weapon that annoys some of my people and others, but not me," Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter noting that he trusted Mr. Kim to " keep your promise to me. “

Mr. Trump also cited Mr Bolton's comments on the use of a "Libyan model" for disarmament in North Korea as one of the reasons for his dismissal, and noted that he had accused Mr. Bolton of more than Mr. Kim in the stalled negotiations. "He didn't want anything to do with John Bolton," Mr Trump told reporters this month on Mr Kim.

Mr Bolton's comments on Monday revealed more about the deep disagreements over the North Korea strategy being played out within the Trump administration and raised questions about what other sections with Mr Trump could be speak in public.

Mr. Bolton made the comments during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, where he was not pressed during a question and answer session on topics other than the Korean Peninsula and America's stance on Asia.

His appearance, where Mr. Bolton said he was pleased to "speak undoubtedly about the threat from North Korea," was met with some expectation that he could also shed light on the whistleblowing complaint, which prompted an impeachment investigation.

Mr. Bolton was still a national security adviser on July 25, the day Mr. Trump spoke on the phone with Vladimir Zelensky, President of Ukraine, and repeatedly pressured the Ukrainian leader to investigate Joseph R. Biden, a junior, former vice president and political rival.

It is typical for the National Security Advisor to have all conversations with foreign leaders, but Mr. Bolton did not say whether he had listened to the conversation, which turned into a major flash in the battle for impeachment between Mr. Trump and the House Democrats.

Instead, it adheres to harsh warnings about North Korea.

"Every day that goes by makes North Korea a more dangerous country," he said. "When is it too late? Today is better than tomorrow. Tomorrow is better than the next day. ”


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