North Korea on Monday called US National Security Adviser John Bolton a "war monger" and "defective human product" after he claimed that Pyongyang's recent short-range missile tests were a violation of UN Security Council resolutions, according to CBS News, citing an unnamed North Korean foreign ministry spokesman.
The comments come amid President Trump's visit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, during which the North Korean nuclear discussions are likely to be high on the agenda.
North Korea tested short-range ballistic missiles on May 4 and 9, ending a pause in launches that began in late 2017. The tests have been seen as a way for North Korea to pressure Washington to soften its stance on easing sanctions against it without actually causing negotiations to collapse. -CBS News
North Korea's Central New Agency, the North Korean Spokesman, said that the North was rightfully exercising its rights of self-defense by conducting the launches. "Demanding us to ban all launches using ballistic technology regardless of range is same with asking us to relinquish our rights for self-defense," said a spokesman, who added that Bolton is an "ignorant" hard-liner who has consistently pushed provocative policies against North Korea - including pre-emptive strikes and regime change.
The spokesman also said Bolton's "hammer act" was responsible for the collapse of a major nuclear deal between the countries reached in 1994, when the North agreed to halt its nuclear program in exchange for U.S. fuel aid. The deal broke down in 2002 after U.S. intelligence agencies said North Korea was continuing its pursuit of bombs with a secret uranium enrichment program.
"Bolton should not be called a security adviser who works to secure security, but an adviser for security destruction who destroys peace and security," the spokesman said. "It's not that strange that crooked sound will always come out the mouth of a man who is structurally flawed, and it's best that this defective human product goes away as soon as possible." -CBS News
Trump takes a different position
President Trump said on Monday that he views North Korea's missile tests differently than some of his advisers and was not bothered by Pyongyang's actions.
"My people think it could have been a violation, as you know. I view it differently – I view it as a man, perhaps he wants to get attention. Perhaps not. Who knows? It doesn’t matter. All I know is that there have been no nuclear tests, no ballistic missiles going out, no long-range missiles going out. And I think that someday we’ll have a deal," said Trump, adding "I'm not in a rush."
On Saturday, Trump tweeted: "North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me," adding that he has confidence that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will keep his promise to Trump.
North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2019
Negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have virtually stalled since a February summit between Trump and Kim broke down after it was reported that Trump handed Kim a piece of paper demanding Pyongyang give the United States its existing nuclear weapons and enriched uranium, according to Reuters, which described the document as representing Bolton's long-held hardline "Libya model" of denuclearization. A lunch between the two leaders was canceled that day.
On the flipside, North Korea reportedly asked that the United States remove the strategic nuclear umbrella and the dismantling of the Indian Pacific Command, according to South Korea's DongA.
In April, Kim gave the United States "till the end of this year" before he walks away from negotiations for good.