US national security adviser John Bolton warns US may ramp up sanctions if nuclear weapons program is not scrapped
North Korea has begun rebuilding a rocket launch site that had been partially dismantled as a goodwill gesture after the first summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in June last year.
Satellite images show the reconstruction work was carried out shortly before their failed second summit in Hanoi last week, and their publication on Tuesday evening contributed to fears that the peace effort was in jeopardy.
The US national security adviser, John Bolton, warned that if the regime did not disarm, the already severe sanctions regime would be ramped up further.
Bolton told Fox Business Network that Washington was waiting to see whether Pyongyang was committed to giving up its “nuclear weapons program and everything associated with it”.
“If they’re not willing to do it, then I think President Trump has been very clear … they’re not going to get relief from the crushing economic sanctions that have been imposed on them and we’ll look at ramping those sanctions up in fact,” he said.
The Hanoi summit was cut short last Thursday after Trump and Kim failed to agree on a deal trading nuclear disarmament for sanctions relief, but Trump administration officials were still claiming on Tuesday that progress had been made towards narrowing differences.