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(LEAD) Bolton says 3rd U.S.-N.K. summit is entirely possible

All News 23:39 June 11, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with more remarks by Bolton; CHANGES headline; ADDS photo)

WASHINGTON, June 11 (Yonhap) -- A third summit between the United States and North Korea is "entirely possible," U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said Tuesday.

Bolton made the remark at a conference hosted by the Wall Street Journal, saying that the decision is up to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

"I think it's entirely possible," he said of the possibility of a third summit. "Really, Kim Jong-un holds the key."

This AP file photo shows U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton. (Yonhap)

The previous summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump in Vietnam in February ended without a deal due to differences over the scope of North Korea's denuclearization and sanctions relief from the U.S.

"We're ready when they are," Bolton said. "So it's anytime that they want to schedule it."

Negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled since the February summit, leading North Korea to launch several short-range missiles in May in apparent protest.

The hawkish adviser stood by his earlier characterization that the launches violated United Nations Security Council resolutions against the regime.

But he rejected the notion that he was in disagreement with the president, who has said he views the launches "differently."

"He was talking about the pledge he thought he had from Kim Jong-un not to test (intercontinental ballistic missiles), which is true. They haven't tested it yet," Bolton said.

The missile firing in May was the first of its kind since North Korea tested an ICBM in November 2017. Trump has touted the regime's suspension of such tests as one of his major accomplishments since engaging with Pyongyang starting in early 2018.

The first Trump-Kim summit in Singapore last June produced an agreement to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantees for Pyongyang.

Bolton was asked whether the North has been abiding by that deal.

"Well, what they've said was that they're not going to test ballistic missiles, intercontinental range ballistic missiles or have nuclear tests. That's continued," he said.

"They're doing a lot of things that still indicate they have not made a strategic decision to give up the pursuit of deliverable nuclear weapons, which is why we continue the maximum pressure campaign," he added, referring to the U.S.-led sanctions campaign against North Korea.


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