Bolton Says North Korea Missile Tests Broke U.N. Ban (#GotBitcoin?)
The U.S. national security adviser says the president’s visit to Japan will include discussions on how ensure integrity of U.N. resolutions. Bolton Says North Korea Missile Tests Broke U.N. Ban (#GotBitcoin?)
North Korea violated United Nations’ restrictions by testing ballistic missiles recently, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said, breaking with an effort by the Trump administration to play down the launches as it tries to kick-start diplomacy with Pyongyang.
North Korea test-fired short-range missiles on May 4 and 9, including missiles similar to the Russian-built Iskander, which travel on high-altitude ballistic paths and can carry nuclear warheads.
In the wake of the tests, President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo emphasized talks with North Korea despite the missile launches appearing to violate a U.N. ban on the country conducting any ballistic missile tests. Following the May 4 test, Mr. Trump tweeted about his friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his expectation for a negotiated agreement to end their nuclear standoff.
Mr. Bolton said the launches clearly included weapons that North Korea is banned from testing by the U.N.
“In terms of violating U.N. Security Council resolutions, there’s no doubt about that,” Mr. Bolton said in a meeting Saturday with a group of reporters.
Mr. Bolton arrived in Japan ahead of Mr. Trump, who landed in Tokyo Saturday evening to start a four-day state visit.
Mr. Trump said Sunday that he isn’t bothered by the “small weapons” fired off by North Korea, in contrast to Mr. Bolton’s comments a day earlier.
Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter early Sunday in Tokyo, “North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?”
Mr. Bolton said Mr. Trump would discuss with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his visit ways to ensure the integrity of U.N. resolutions. In previous North Korean ballistic missile tests, mainly of large weapons, the U.N. Security Council has issued a condemnation or imposed additional sanctions on the country.
Mr. Bolton also said North Korea hasn’t responded to attempts by the U.S. to resume diplomacy after the collapse of a summit meeting in Hanoi in February. U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun hasn’t had any contact with his counterparts, Mr. Bolton said.
“He’s ready to get on a plane and go anywhere to talk to them,” Mr. Bolton said.
The U.S. is supportive of a push by Mr. Abe to try to arrange a summit meeting with Mr. Kim as a possible way forward to restart dialogue, he added. In recent weeks, Mr. Abe said he was willing to meet Mr. Kim without any preconditions, although there has been no indication North Korea is interested in a meeting.
In addition to raising Japan’s concerns about North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, Mr. Abe wants the return of any survivors from about a dozen Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s. North Korea has said they are all dead.
Mr. Trump is set to meet the families of the abductees during his stay in Japan and discuss with Mr. Abe approaches to tackling the North Korean missile and nuclear threat.
A meeting between Mr. Abe and Mr. Kim “could bring substantial assistance to that effort,” Mr. Bolton said.
Mr. Trump told Japanese business leaders that he also wanted to address the U.S. trade deficit with Japan during his stay and ensure “fairness and reciprocity in our relationship.”
Trump Says Recent North Korean Missile Tests Don’t Bother Him
President says he doesn’t think they violate U.N. resolutions, acknowledges disagreement with advisers.
President Trump said he wasn’t bothered by North Korea’s latest round of missile tests and the U.S. wasn’t seeking regime change in Iran, striking conciliatory notes on the two nations’ nuclear programs as he wrapped up his second trip to Japan since taking office.
In a joint press conference Monday alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Mr. Trump said he didn’t think Pyongyang’s recent launches were a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions while acknowledging disagreement with his advisers over the matter.
“My people think it could have been a violation, as you know. I view it differently,” Mr. Trump said, characterizing the tests as possibly an effort by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to get attention. That contradicted the stance of national security adviser John Bolton, who on Saturday said the launches, most recently on May 9, included weapons that North Korea is banned from testing.
Mr. Abe, in his comments, said the tests violated the Security Council resolution and called them “extremely regrettable.” After a moment’s hesitation, the Japanese leader pivoted to praising the president’s outreach to Mr. Kim on denuclearization, which has focused on developing a personal rapport and emphasizing North Korea’s economic potential.
On Saturday Mr. Bolton said North Korea hasn’t responded to attempts by the U.S. to resume diplomacy after the collapse of a summit meeting in Hanoi in February. U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun hasn’t had any contact with his counterparts, Mr. Bolton said.
Despite their opposing views on the tests, Mr. Trump told reporters he still has confidence in Mr. Bolton. Asked earlier this month if he was happy with the counsel he was getting, Mr. Trump said while Mr. Bolton has “strong views,” he tempers Mr. Bolton’s advice with that of people who “are a little more dovish” before making a decision.
Mr. Trump was also asked Monday about a tweet in which he said he agreed with North Korean state-media criticism of former Vice President Joe Biden, who is a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. Asked whether he was willing to side with a dictator against a fellow American, Mr. Trump said: “Kim Jong Un made a statement that Joe Biden is a low-IQ individual based on his record…I think I agree with him on that.”
A Biden campaign spokesman declined to comment Monday. In a statement last week, the campaign said: “Given Vice President Biden’s record of standing up for American values and interests, it’s no surprise that North Korea would prefer that Donald Trump remain in the White House.”
Messrs. Trump and Abe held talks on a range of issues, including trade and national security. The meetings were part of the president’s four-day visit to meet Japan’s newly enthroned Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako.