White House national security adviser John Bolton offered up new details on Sunday about the path toward the nuclear disarmament of North Korea and addressed a recent Washington Post reportsuggesting that the country plans to deceive the United States about its nuclear stockpile.
On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Bolton said North Korea’s nuclear arsenal could be dismantled in a year if Pyongyang cooperates, adding that the program would require “full disclosure of all [of North Korea’s] chemical and biological, nuclear programs, ballistic missile sites.”
“We have developed a program. I am sure that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be discussing this with the North Koreans in the near future about really how to dismantle all of their [weapons of mass destruction] and ballistic missile programs in a year,” Bolton said. “If they have the strategic decision already made to do that and they are cooperative, we can move very quickly. And it is to North Korea’s advantage to dismantle very quickly. Then the elimination of sanctions, aid by South Korea and Japan and others can all begin to flower.”
Bolton disclosed that the plan has not been put into action yet.
“It has not. Physically, we would be able to dismantle the overwhelming bulk of their programs within a year,” Bolton said.
Pompeo told CNN last week he would not put a timeline on negotiations with North Korea, but said the Trump administration will regularly assess the regime’s seriousness about abandoning its nuclear program as the US moves toward normalizing relations with Pyongyang.
On “Face the Nation” and “Fox News Sunday,” Bolton refused to talk about a Washington Post report that US intelligence officials have concluded North Korea does not intend to fully surrender its nuclear stockpile and is preparing to deceive the US about the number of nuclear warheads in its arsenal and the existence of undisclosed facilities used to make fissile material.
“I am not going to comment on any reports, true, untrue, or partially true, about intelligence. …” Bolton said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I will just say this: Not answering the specific reports we’ve seen over the weekend … we are using the full range of our capabilities to understand what North Korea is doing.”
The national security adviser added that “there’s nobody involved in this discussion with North Korea in the administration who is overburdened by naïveté. We’ve seen how the North Koreans have behaved before. The President’s been very clear. He is not going to make mistakes of prior administrations. We are going to pursue this, and we will see what happens.”
Bolton also said on “Face the Nation” that during the US-North Korea summit in Singapore, Kim was “very emphatic several times” about turning over the arsenal, which was a change from previous regimes.
“Now, we’ll let their actions speak for themselves,” he added.