National Security Advisor John Bolton called a New York Times article which wrote that the U.S. would potentially endorse a North Korean nuclear freeze deal “reprehensible” and denied all alleged talks on the topic in a tweet Monday.
“A real idea has been taking shape inside the Trump administration,” according to a New York Times article published Jun 30. The article described this change as a nuclear freeze that would accept North Korea as a nuclear power.
Bolton took to Twitter to condemn the NYT article Monday, saying that “there should be consequences” to what he alleges was fake news about settling “for a nuclear freeze by” North Korea.
I read this NYT story with curiosity. Neither the NSC staff nor I have discussed or heard of any desire to “settle for a nuclear freeze by NK.” This was a reprehensible attempt by someone to box in the President. There should be consequences. https://t.co/TTRPQkksza
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) July 1, 2019
A nuclear freeze would allow North Korea to keep weapons that they already have, but stop more weapons from being made. The Trump administration has been vocal about having complete denuclearization.
The Trump administration has seen that talks about complete denuclearization have not made strides, the NYT article alleged. The administration still “insists in public and in private” that they want total denuclearization, but are also “weighing a new approach,” the article writes.
It is unclear where the information regarding secret talks about a nuclear freeze for North Korea came from, but Bolton shot down the article in its entirety.
“This was a reprehensible attempt by someone to box in the President,” Bolton wrote in a tweet.
Stephen E. Biegun, the North Korean envoy from the State Department, said that these new ideas are “pure speculation” and that they are “not preparing any new proposal currently,” the NYT reported.
This new approach bears resemblances to the nuclear freeze that former President Bill Clinton made with the father of current North Korean President Kim Jong-un, according to the NYT. That nuclear deal freeze disintegrated after a few years when it was discovered that North Korea was looking to still develop bombs.
The NYT article also questioned whether Trump cares about developing a “tough denuclearization deal” or if he is more focused on the “illusion of progress to present himself to voters as a peacemaker.”
The article came hours after Trump entered North Korea Sunday, becoming the first U.S. sitting President to step foot into the country.
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