On Dec. 22, former national security adviser John Bolton criticized the Trump administration, saying he did not believe he was serious about stopping North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
In an interview with Axios, the Bolton questioned that so far no new progress has been made in the talks to try to get North Korea to make “the strategic decision to stop pursuing deliverable nuclear weapons.”
Bolton noted that President Trump is not exerting “maximum pressure” on Pyongyang after North Korea’s deputy foreign minister said that they would give “a Christmas present” to the United States depending on how the ongoing nuclear relations ended.
North Korea said it is confident that President Trump will choose a “wise option” and make a “bold” decision in the talks.
The president stressed to reporters at the White House a few days ago that he had a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un and said he was sure that both of them wanted it to remain that way, but at the same time he has been emphatic that he will not ease sanctions on Pyongyang until there is proof of final nuclear disarmament.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters earlier this week that the United States has heard all the talk about a possible [nuclear] test around Christmas.
“I’ve been watching the Korean Peninsula for a quarter-century now. I’m familiar with their tactics, with their bluster,” Esper said.
“We need to get serious and sit down and have discussions about a political agreement that denuclearizes the peninsula. That is the best way forward and arguably the only way forward if we’re going to do something constructive,” the official added, according to Fox News.