NICK SCHIFRIN: I just want to ask, in the brief time I have left, a couple questions on North Korea.
North Korea has frozen nuclear tests. As you know, they have blown up the entrance to their nuclear test facility. They have shut down an engine testing site. They have handed over remains of U.S. soldiers. And North Korea now says that the U.S. is backtracking from some of the commitments that the president made in Singapore.
So, what steps has the U.S. taken to live up to the president’s commitments in Singapore, to provide security guarantees, and to establish a new relationship with North Korea?
JOHN BOLTON: Well, the president at Singapore suspended major exercises, joint exercises between the United States and South Korea. That’s been done.
But what was significant about Singapore was the North Korean commitment to denuclearize. And they have not taken effective steps to do that. Let’s just take the decision to close the entrances, as you correctly say, to the Punggye-ri nuclear test site. That was done before the agreement.
There were no international observers present really to inspect what was done. There were some, you will forgive me, representatives of the media who were kept at a distance and not shown anything, except the bright explosion.
And I think that view in South Korea and elsewhere is that that test site is not necessarily disabled. That’s why, when you engage in the process of denuclearization, you need international inspection, you need declarations of what North Korea has, you need observers and inspectors who can verify exactly what’s happening.
That needs to take place in a process of negotiation. We have asked again recently for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to return to Pyongyang to meet again with Kim Jong-un on this subject.
We’re not looking for rhetoric here. We’re looking for performance of North Korea’s own commitment made to us, made to South Korea beforehand to denuclearize.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Are you suggesting North Korea is not living up to that commitment?
JOHN BOLTON: I’m suggesting President Trump has held the door open for them. They need to walk through it.
So much for N.Korea no longer being a nuclear threat.
I somehow doubt Trump will be pleased with that particular line.