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Iran Press TV

Bolton says US open to talking to North Korea, won't change position

Iran Press TV

Sat May 25, 2019 06:34AM

US security adviser John Bolton has called on North Korea to return to talks but ruled out a change of position, after Pyongyang said it will suspend the negotiations unless Washinton changes its "arbitrary and dishonest" stance.

Bolton said Saturday the administration of President Donald Trump was still open to talks with Pyongyang on the same terms that caused his high-profile meeting with the North's Kim Jong-un in February to collapse.

"Trump has held the door open for Kim, the next step is for Kim to walk through it," he said at a press roundtable.

The two leaders abruptly ended their latest summit in Vietnam's capital, Hanoi, after failing to reach an agreement on the next steps.

Trump walked away from the summit, claiming that Kim had insisted on the removal of all sanctions on North Korea. Pyongyang however rejected that account, stressing that it had only asked for a partial lifting of the bans.

Following the failure of the summit, the North repeatedly warned that it was considering ending talks on denuclearization and resuming its nuclear and missile tests over what it described as "the gangster-like stand" of the US.

Pyongyang eventually announced on Friday that the talks will never be resumed unless Washington "comes forward with a new method of calculation."

Earlier this month, Kim observed the test fire of two long-range and several short-range ballistic weapons and ordered the military to "keep full combat posture to cope with any emergency."

An unidentified spokesman for the North's foreign ministry said the underlying cause of the breakdown is "the arbitrary and dishonest position taken by the United States, insisting on a method which is totally impossible to get through."

'Missile tests violated UN resolution'

Bolton, however, accused the North on Saturday of violating a UN Security Council resolution aimed at halting its nuclear and missile programs.

"The UN resolution prohibits the launch of any ballistic missiles," he said.

North Korea's test firings included short range ballistic missiles and so there was "no doubt" it was a violation, he added.

This is the first time that an American official is openly regarding the missile launches as a violation.

Trump, who has often touted a rosy relationship with Kim, had played down the tests, saying he remained hopeful for a deal to compliment North Korea's "great economic potential."

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also noted that the tests did not violate the testing moratorium because the missiles were not capable of reaching the US mainland.

'Kim should meet Japanese PM'

Bolton also called on Kim to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He said that a summit between Abe and Kim "could be substantive assistance to that."

Currently, a meeting is scheduled to be held between Abe and Trump on Monday. North Korea's nuclear program and bilateral trade are at the top of the agenda for the summit.

Trump on Friday arrived for a four-day official visit to Tokyo amid rising tensions between the two countries over trade exchanges.

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