ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
N Korea at crossroads

Trump adviser sees 'some time' before third North Korea summit

Bolton presses Pyongyang to sign 'big deal' through full denuclearization

White House national security adviser John Bolton, left, joins Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump at the Metropole hotel in Hanoi to meet North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and his delegation on Feb. 28.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- 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.

Speaking on ABC, John Bolton said the United States has no illusions about North Korea's capabilities, but Trump remains confident in his personal relationship with the North Korean leader.

Bolton's comments came after two U.S. think tanks and Seoul's spy agency said last week that North Korea was rebuilding a rocket launch site at Sohae in the west of the country.

There have also been reports from South Korea's intelligence service of new activity at a factory at Sanumdong near Pyongyang that produced North Korea's first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States.

Bolton declined to discuss those reports or say whether a new North Korean missile launch would scuttle engagement with the United States. He said, however, that it was a mistake to assume North Korea would "automatically" comply with its obligations.

"The president's confident in his personal relationship with Kim Jong Un. He's invested a lot of time in trying to develop that relationship," Bolton told ABC's "This Week."

"He said he's open to a third summit, none has been scheduled, and some time may have to go by. 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," Bolton said.

Trump told reporters Friday he would be disappointed if Pyongyang were to resume weapons testing and reiterated his belief in his good relationship with the North Korean leader, despite the recent collapse of their second summit in Hanoi.

North Korea has frozen nuclear and missile testing since 2017, and Trump has pointed to this as a positive outcome from nearly a year of high-level engagement with North Korea.

In his interview with ABC and in another with Fox News Channel, Bolton appeared to rule out any partial deal with North Korea and said Trump had proposed a "big deal" at the Hanoi summit under which North Korea would completely denuclearize and also give up its chemical and biological weapons.

"It's possible that North Korea will go back and rethink the position they came in with and come back to talk to the president about the big deal," he told Fox.

Bolton called the incremental approach North Korea has sought a "ploy" to obtain sanctions relief.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends June 30th

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media