Bolton took President Trump's "bromance diplomacy" to task on North Korea at an event at the DC think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies on Monday, after a reporter asked him point blank about the "warm letters" exchanged between the two leaders. The AP reports of his comments:
Asked during the question-and-answer session if “bromance diplomacy” is effective — a reference to the warm letters that Trump has exchanged with Kim — Bolton declined to comment. There is, though, “no basis” to trust any statements from the North Koreans.
“This is a government that has essentially violated every international agreement it has ever made,” he said.
Without naming the president directly, the recently oustered Bolton generally rebuked Trump's policy toward Pyongyang, after he has met with Kim Jong Un a total of three times, including at a historic DMZ summit on June 30, at which time then national security adviser Bolton happened to be in
sent to Mongolia.
"Every day that goes by makes North Korea a more dangerous country," Bolton said. "You don't like their behavior today, what do you think it will be when they have nuclear weapons that can be delivered to American cities?"
“Under current circumstances, he will never give up nuclear weapons voluntarily,” Bolton said at the think tank hosted conference, referencing Kim. Bolton further said he expects a bad ending to the current dubious US track and strategy.
“If you believe, and you may not, that it is unacceptable for North Korea to have nuclear weapons at some point military force has to be an option,” Bolton said in his characteristically hawkish and bellicose tone.
Trump for his part had previously described Bolton's view's as hurting progress on Korea “very badly” and that “maybe a new method would be very good.”
Earlier this month Bolton was reported to have ripped Trump's policies in a more direct way at a closed-door event, where his criticisms focused on Iran. Bolton explained to a luncheon hosted by the conservative Gatestone Institute "everybody in the White House had agreed on a retaliatory strike" on Iran in the wake of the Sept. 19 Saudi Aramco attacks.
But as the former national security explained sarcastically, “a high authority, at the very last minute," without telling anyone, decided not to do it and intervened to dissuade Trump. That "high authority" was identified as the increasingly vocally anti-interventionist FOX pundit Tucker Carlson.