The American security official said on May 24 that “there is no doubt” North Korea’s missile tests earlier this month violated UNSC resolutions.
He further called Bolton a “war maniac” who keeps “whispering war” into President Donald Trump’s ears. Bolton, the spokesman added, is more working to “destroy” rather than maintain “peace and security.”
In his comments about North Korea’s tests, Bolton went further than his boss, President Trump, who first said he was “unhappy” with the tests and later downplayed their significance.
In a tweet, Trump dismissed Bolton’s concerns over North Korea testing of “some small weapons.”
On Monday, Trump — who is on a visit to Japan — said there was “great respect” between the United States and North Korea and predicted “lots of good things.”
“I may be right, I may be wrong. But I feel that we’ve come a long way. There’s been no rocket testing, there’s been no nuclear testing,” Trump said ahead of his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Trump has already held two summits with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula since June 2017.
In the first meeting in Singapore, the two sides reached a general agreement on the issue, but their second summit in Vietnam collapsed, with Trump and Kim giving contradictory accounts of the talks.
The North has warned that it is considering ending talks on denuclearization and resuming its nuclear and missile tests over what it describes as Washington’s “gangster-like stand.”