Trump open to third summit with Kim: Bolton

Indo Asian News Service

Washington, March 11 (IANS) US National Security Adviser (NSA) John Bolton has said that President Donald Trump was open to a third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, although nothing has been scheduled.

Bolton made the remark on Sunday in an ABC News interview.

"He (Trump) said he's open to a third summit, none has been scheduled... But he's prepared to engage again because he does think that the prospects for North Korea, which he's been trying to persuade Kim Jong-un to accept if they denuclearized, are really quite spectacular," the NSA said.

When asked about the new satellite images, which were made public on Friday, suggesting that North Korea could be preparing to revive its missile testing, Bolton said: "I'd rather not get into the specifics on that... We've seen a lot in North Korea. We watch it constantly... There's a lot of activity all the time in North Korea, but I'm not going to speculate on what that particular commercial satellite picture shows."

The images that were made public on Friday showed vehicles, cranes and rail cars near a facility outside Pyongyang where North Korea has previously assembled some of its intercontinental ballistic missiles, leading some experts to believe North Korea is preparing to launch what would be its first missile or rocket in over a year.

Bolton said that Trump would be very disappointed if there was another test launch from North Korea.

"The president said repeatedly that he feels the absence of nuclear tests, the absence of ballistic missile launches is a positive sign."

Trump and Kim's second summit in Vietnam last month ended abruptly without a deal on North Korean denuclearization in return for sanctions relief.

Before the images were made public, Trump on Friday told the media that relationship with Kim was "a very good one" and said he would be "surprised in a negative way if he did anything that was not per our understanding".

Bolton also said that "one mistake that previous administrations made was assuming that North Korea will comply when they undertake obligations".

"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.

"I think Kim Jong-un has a very clear idea of where the president stands, what the objectives he's trying to achieve are."

Trump and Kim first met in Singapore in June 2018, producing only a North Korean commitment to "work towards complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula".

Bolton told ABC that he was not aware of any contact between the US and North Korea since Vietnam, though it was "possible the South Koreans have spoken to North Korea".

--IANS

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