Bolton pessimistic on North Korea in 1st speech since ouster

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former national security adviser John Bolton gave a characteristically pessimistic outlook on the prospects for getting North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons as he made his first public appearance since he was ousted from his post by President Donald Trump.

Bolton told a security forum on Monday in Washington he believes North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made a "strategic decision" to do whatever he can to keep his country's nuclear weapons. The famously hawkish former U.N. ambassador said this should be regarded as an "unacceptable" threat to the world.

"Under current circumstances, he will never give up the nuclear weapons voluntarily," Bolton said at an annual forum on Korea hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Trump fired Bolton this month amid policy disagreements over North Korea and other issues.

RELATED: Donald Trump steps into North Korea

11 PHOTOS
Donald Trump steps into North Korea
See Gallery
Donald Trump steps into North Korea
TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un stand on North Korean soil while walking to South Korea in the Demilitarized Zone(DMZ) on June 30, 2019, in Panmunjom, Korea. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un stands with US President Donald Trump north of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump walk together south of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, after Trump briefly stepped over to the northern side, in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un shake hands before a meeting in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) and US President Donald Trump meet on the south side of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump waits at the line of demarcation for North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un in the Demilitarized Zone(DMZ) on June 30, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un talk before a meeting in the Demilitarized Zone(DMZ) on June 30, 2019, in Panmunjom, Korea. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un talk before a meeting in the Demilitarized Zone(DMZ) on June 30, 2019, in Panmunjom, Korea. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un stand on North Korean soil while walking to South Korea in the Demilitarized Zone(DMZ) on June 30, 2019, in Panmunjom, Korea. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump leaves Freedom House before walking to the line of demarcation to meet North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un in the Demilitarized Zone(DMZ) on June 30, 2019, in Panmunjom, Korea. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A member of North Korean security stands guard near the line of demarcation before US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un meet in the Demilitarized Zone(DMZ) on June 30, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Bolton did not mention Trump in his speech and did not address his ouster.

The Republican president has said that Bolton's views set the United States back "very badly" in talks with the North and added that "maybe a new method would be very good."

Bolton insisted the North should follow the Libyan path of denuclearization by fully eliminating its nuclear program upfront in a possible deal with the United States, a view he repeated at the security forum.

Asked during a question and answer session after the speech if "romance diplomacy" is an effective method, Bolton declined to comment.

North Korea recently praised Trump for saying Washington may pursue an unspecified "new method" in nuclear negotiations with Pyongyang. Those talks have been stalled for months by disagreements over trade-offs between sanctions relief and disarmament steps.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.