North Korean missile test violated UN resolution, says Bolton

In this Friday, May 24, 2019, photo, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton is surrounded by reporters at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo. (AP)
Updated 25 May 2019
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North Korean missile test violated UN resolution, says Bolton

  • Trump has left “door open” for North Korea’s Kim
  • Washington has “deep and serious” intelligence on Iran threat

TOKYO: US National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Saturday North Korea’s recent missile launches violated a UN Security Council resolution and urged leader Kim Jong Un to return to denuclearization talks.
It was the first time a senior US official has described the tests as a violation of UN resolutions aimed at halting North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and came ahead of a four-day visit to Japan by US President Donald Trump who arrives later in the day.
“The UN resolution prohibits the launch of any ballistic missiles,” Bolton said at a press roundtable. North Korea’s test firings included short range ballistic missiles and so there was “no doubt” it was a violation, he added.
Earlier this month, Kim Jong Un oversaw the first flight of a previously untested weapon — a relatively small, fast missile experts believe will be easier to hide, launch and maneuver in flight.
Bolton said that the United States was still open to talks with Kim’s regime but that it had not changed its position from the one outlined at the last summit between the United States and North Korea in Hanoi.
“Trump has held the door open for Kim, the next step is for Kim to walk through it,” he said.
Bolton also urged Kim to agree to a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which he said could help restart dialogue on North Korea’s weapons programs.
An Abe Kim summit “could be substantive assistance to that,” he said.
Trump, who will play golf with Abe on Sunday before watching Sumo wrestling, is expected to discuss topics ranging from North Korea to China and two-way trade when they sit down for a summit on Monday.
The two leaders will also discuss rising tensions with Iran, Bolton said. Abe is considering a visit to Iran as early as mid-June, public broadcaster NHK said on Friday, the first such trip in four decades.
Washington has said it will stop waivers for countries buying Iranian oil and has designated Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization.
The United State is also deploying a carrier strike group and bombers to the Middle East in response to what the Trump administration described as troubling “indications and warnings” from Iran.
Bolton, who has spearheaded an increasingly hawkish US policy on Iran, described recent attacks on tankers off the United Arab Emirates and a pipeline pumping station in Saudi Arabia, as well as a rocket attack in Baghdad’s Green Zone in Iraq, as “manifestations of concern.”
The United States has “deep and serious” intelligence on the threat posed by Iran, said Bolton, who declined to provide details.


North Korea: Time running out for fresh US talks on denuclearization

Updated 11 min 5 sec ago
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North Korea: Time running out for fresh US talks on denuclearization

  • The United States is in behind-the-scenes talks with North Korea over a possible third summit
  • Pyongyang says the recent US extension of sanctions against North Korea was an act of hostility
SEOUL: The United States should take action to present a new strategy to revive denuclearization talks, a North Korean diplomat in charge of US affairs said on Thursday, warning time was running out ahead of a year-end deadline set by Pyongyang.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has said after the collapse of his second summit with US President Donald Trump in February that a third meeting would be possible only if Washington adopted a more flexible approach. Kim said he will wait until the end of the year.
The United States is in behind-the-scenes talks with North Korea over a possible third summit and has proposed reviving working-level negotiations, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday.
Trump said on Wednesday he would not meet with the North Korean leader during his trip to Asia for the G20 summit in Japan this week, which will include a visit to South Korea.
Kwon Jong Gun, director for US affairs at the North’s foreign ministry, said the United States had recently spoke of dialogue while “contemptibly committing hostile acts.”
He did not elaborate, but a foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday that the recent US extension of sanctions against North Korea was an act of hostility and an outright challenge to the first summit between Kim and Trump in Singapore last year.
“Dialogue doesn’t happen by itself when the United States doesn’t act to come up with a realistic approach that serves the interests of both sides and speaks of a restart of talks like a parrot,” Kwon said in a statement carried by Pyongyang’s official KCNA news agency.
“The United States doesn’t have much time left if it were to move to produce results.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that a recent exchange of letters between Trump and Kim boosted hopes for a restart of talks, calling it a “very real possibility.”