Published: Mon, March 11, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Bolton Downplays Threat of North Korean Missile Test

Bolton Downplays Threat of North Korean Missile Test

Bolton sought to dampen the hype around the prospect that a North Korean missile launch could be imminent after the emergence in recent days of commercial satellite imagery appearing to show cranes at work rebuilding a key test site that Pyongyang previously vowed to destroy.

"There's a lot of activity all the time in North Korea", Bolton noted, saying that the U.S. is always watching "unblinkingly" what the North Koreans are doing, and saying he didn't think he should speculate based on commercial satellite photos.

However, Trump told reporters that like the Singapore summit, Kim had committed not conducting nuclear or ballistic missile tests.

Bolton also refused to comment on an observation by Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Project, who said that it looks like North Korea is in the process of building a rocket.

U.S. President Donald Trump is open to a third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un but some time may have to go by before this takes place, Trump's national security adviser said on Sunday.

He said Kim promised in Hanoi that he would do no more missile or nuclear testing, adding, "I take him at his word".

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"We see exactly what they are doing", he said.

Trump and Kim's second summit in Vietnam last month broke down over differences on us demands for Pyongyang's denuclearisation and North Korea's demand for sanctions relief. He said, however, that it was a mistake to assume North Korea would "automatically" comply with its obligations.

The Trump administration and many USA lawmakers across party lines still believe in a hard-line stance on North Korea, maintaining that there can be no sanctions relief before denuclearization, according to multiple diplomatic sources Thursday.

"The North Koreans have pledged to give up their nuclear weapons programme at least five separate times, beginning in 1992. they never seem to get around to it, though".

Donald Trump's national security advisor said Sunday that the USA president would be "pretty disappointed" if North Korea conducted a new missile test, but he refused to confirm reports that such a test may be near.

A South Korean Foreign Ministry official said Thursday, "There has been talk of the Kaesong Industrial Complex and the Mount Kumgang tours, and we are putting much effort into trying to create conditions in which they could be resumed".

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