Donald Trump Open to Third Summit with Kim Jong-un: John Bolton
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Mar 12, 2019,
Mar 12, 2019, 1:10
The Center for Strategic International Studies' Beyond Parallel last week published satellite images from March 6 and March 8 that shows new activity on a launch pad in northwestern North Korea consistent with preparations for a missile or satellite launch.
Lee Do-hoon, South Korea's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, met with Stephen Biegun, the U.S. special representative for North Korea, in Washington Wednesday to assess the second North-U.S. summit and possible next steps.
Although Biegun appeared to be in favor of a more incremental approach before the summit, Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, has long opposed that strategy and has privately expressed his view that Biegun was offering too much to the North Koreans.
He added: "I think Kim Jong-un has a very clear idea of where the president stands, what the objectives he's trying to achieve are".
Bolton also said that "one mistake that previous administrations made was assuming that North Korea will comply when they undertake obligations".
Bolton said that Trump would be very disappointed if there was another test launch from North Korea.
"I think it remains good".
The United States will not agree to a phased approach to North Korea's denuclearization, the top US envoy to Pyongyang said Monday.
The satellite images suggest increased activity
"Diplomacy is still very much alive", Biegun said, although he offered no specifics on when new talks might be held and did not say whether any talks had taken place since the summit, which collapsed over differences on USA demands for Pyongyang's denuclearization and North Korea's demand for sanctions relief.
Any launch would be the first since Kim fired off an intercontinental ballistic missile in November 2017 capable of reaching any US city and declared his weapons program complete.
"Kim could use a launch to demonstrate at the 14th Supreme People's Assembly, probably in mid-April, that he has not been cowed by sanctions", said former U.S. negotiator Joel Wit, now the director of the respected 38 North website.
On Friday, Mr Trump admitted he would be disappointed if North Korea resumed weapons testing.
In the course of a almost a year of diplomatic engagement with the United States, North Korea has maintained a freeze on missile and nuclear tests and space rocket launches in place since 2017 and Trump has repeatedly stressed this as a positive outcome of the diplomacy.
Washington wants what administration officials have called a "big deal", with the complete elimination of weapons of mass destruction in return for the dropping of sanctions that have strangled the isolated North's economy.
The Yongbyon complex is a critical part of North Korea's nuclear program, but the country is believed to maintain missiles, warheads and enrichment facilities in other areas as well.
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