Trump adviser insists Hanoi summit was 'success'

05 March, 2019, 07:00 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Trump says Cohen testimony 'may have contributed' to his walking away without a North Korea deal

United States president Donald Trump has blamed that the Democrats' decision to interview his longtime fixer, lawyer Michael Cohen, on the same day as a meeting with Kim Jong-un for the fact that the North Korea summit ended with no deal.

But U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton appeared on several Sunday morning talk shows to say last week's summit between Trump and Kim was not a failure, even though talks fell apart with no agreements.

"I don't consider the summit a failure". While denouncing the activity as "despicable and barbaric", President Trump has not held the leaders directly accountable because, as Bolton notes, the US has "a hard line to walk to negotiate".

"Kim Jong Un. arrived at home on Tuesday after successfully wrapping up his official goodwill visit to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam", the official KCNA news agency said. "I don't view it as a failure at all when American national interests are protected".

The White House did not immediately respond to questions about why the hearing would have contributed to Trump's decision not to accept Kim's terms or whether members of the North Korean negotiating team indicated they were aware of the split-screen news coverage in the U.S.

"He's not desperate for a deal, not with North Korea, not with anybody if it's contrary to American national interests", Bolton said.

In return, Pyongyang was offering only to close part of the Yongbyon complex, a sprawling site covering multiple facilities - and the North is believed to have other uranium enrichment plants.

The summit ended abruptly and ahead of schedule on Thursday, without agreement, despite hopes both sides might make progress on North Korea's denuclearization and the easing of sanctions on Pyongyang.

Trump said that North Korea had asked for "sanctions lifted in their entirety", while North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho later announced Pyongyang wanted the "partial removal" of global restrictions.

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Hwang Kyo-ahn, the newly elected representative of the Liberty Korea Party, blamed President Moon Jae-in for the decision during a parliamentary committee meeting on Monday, local news service Money Today reported.

The UN resolutions passed before 2016 were primarily focused on North Korean proliferation and the country's weapons trading.

Bolton said Trump has "turned traditional diplomacy on its head, and after all in the case of North Korea, why not?"

"We honestly didn't know (what North Korea would bring to the table)".

Some analysts say the conversion to smaller exercises and simulations will weaken the allies' military readiness when North Korea has yet to take real steps toward disarmament. Obviously, it was covered differently by the US networks. "Yes, they have. That's exactly correct", Bolton said. "Also, reducing tensions with North Korea at this time is a good thing!"

"I don't think the leverage gets reduced because I think we will keep the maximum pressure campaign in place even before the summit", the USA national security advisor said.

Moon has prioritized stabilizing bilateral relations with North Korea amid the larger nuclear negotiations between the USA and North Korea, saying inter-Korean reconciliation will drive progress in nuclear talks. Trump wrote on Twitter that the move will save USA taxpayers "hundreds of millions of dollars".

"The president's been very clear he viewed what happened to Otto Warmbier as barbaric and unacceptable and I think the best thing North Korea could do right now would be to come up with a full explanation of exactly what happened to him", Bolton said.


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