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John Bolton's Stance Isn't Surprising. His Timing Is

In first public comments, he zeroed in on North Korea
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 30, 2019 1:20 PM CDT
Former National security adviser John Bolton gestures while speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – Former national security adviser John Bolton gave what the AP calls a characteristically pessimistic outlook on the prospects for getting North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons as he made his first public appearance since he was ousted from his post by President Trump three weeks ago. Bolton made no mention of Trump in his speech to a forum on Korean security on Monday and in a brief Q&A session that followed. But he made it clear that he does not expect much progress in the stalled talks even though Kim Jong Un has halted nuclear weapons tests and met three times with Trump. The North Korean leader has made a "strategic decision" to do whatever he can to keep his country's nuclear weapons, he said.

That is an "unacceptable" threat to the world, Bolton continued. "Under current circumstances, he will never give up nuclear weapons voluntarily," Bolton said at the forum, hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The US, Bolton said, is the only country in the world that can stop nuclear proliferation but it must act before it is too late. He said there should be "serious discussions" about strategies, including military force, to counter North Korea's weapons program. While the Washington Post reports Bolton's stance is not surprising, "it was notable that he decided to raise ideas that were so contrary to Trump’s No. 1 foreign policy goal so soon after leaving the administration."

(Read more John Bolton stories.)

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