Former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton believes the only way to denuclearize North Korea is to put an end to Kim Jong-Un’s regime all together.
“I don’t think there is any point in negotiating with the North Koreans,” Bolton said Tuesday on Fox News.
“On at least four occasions in the past 25 years, they have committed publicly to give up their nuclear weapons in exchange for benefits that were promised to them,” the former ambassador said of North Korea. “In every case they have violated their commitment, typically before the ink was dry on it.”
North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test in September. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that North Korea appears to be planning a sixth nuclear test on Saturday, the anniversary of the country’s founding.
In an interview Sunday with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the administration’s top objective in the region is a denuclearized Korean peninsula, not the removal of Jong-Un.
“In terms of North Korea, we have been very clear that our objective is a denuclearized Korean peninsula. We have no objective to change the regime in North Korea, that is not our objective,” said Tillerson.
Bolton has little faith the Trump administration will be able to achieve its goal of a denuclearized Korean peninsula without first eliminating Kim Jong-Un’s regime.
“They aren’t going to voluntarily give up their nuclear weapons program, they’re not going to voluntarily give up their ballistic missile program,” the former U.N. ambassador said.
“I think there is only one alternative here, and that’s to put enough pressure on them to have the regime collapse,” Bolton said. “The way to end North Korea’s nuclear weapons program is to end North Korea, I think, through reunification of the peninsula.”
Bolton believes there is a way to achieve a denuclearized Korea through diplomatic means, but it would require the buy-in of China.
“That’s something we should be talking to the Chinese about,” Bolton added. “It will be hard for the Chinese to accept, but they’re the ones who have said for many years they don’t want a nuclear North Korea.”
President Donald Trump appears to be making an effort to convince China to join in efforts to solve the “North Korean problem.” In a tweet Tuesday, the president promised more a favorable trade deal for China if it joins ranks with the U.S. against North Korea.
I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2017
And according to Tillerson, China is beginning to recognize the threat a nuclear North Korea poses.
“I think there’s a shared view and no disagreement as to how dangerous the situation has become. And I think even China is beginning to recognize that this presents a threat to … China’s interests as well,” the secretary of state said Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation.