North Korea announced on Wednesday it will reopen a cross-border communication channel with South Korea, after almost two years, according to officials in Seoul.
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This came just hours after President Donald Trump taunted North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un about the size of his nuclear button, after Kim stated “a nuclear button is always on the desk of my office,” in a speech on Monday.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
However, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton called the claims by Kim political hoopla.
“What the North Koreans are doing is pure propaganda. I’m not sure it has anything to do with U.S. pressure. I think it has more to do with the fact that they are very close to achieving the long sought objective of being able to deliver nuclear weapons to any target they want in the United States or worldwide,” Bolton told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on “Mornings with Maria.”
Bolton added that North Korea is “playing into the gullibility” of the South Korean government and American political leaders to “make it look like somehow they are trying to open a channel of communication.”
President Trump’s tweet proclaimed “I too have a nuclear button,” but in Bolton’s opinion “the taunting is fundamentally irrelevant” and a stronger military presence in Guam and Japan would convince China, a mediator between America and North Korea, that the U.S. is a credible military threat.
“The potential use of military force is going to be taken seriously until that buildup takes place,” he said. “I think the one chance we have of convincing China that they better crack down themselves on North Korea, my view is, we should reunify the peninsula but to get China’s attention is to make the military threat credible and that hasn’t happened yet.”
CIA Director Mike Pompeo in October said North Korea was “months” away from delivering a nuclear weapon to the United States—a projection Bolton believes is accurate.
“There’s not a lot of time to waste here,” Bolton warned. “Talking to the North Koreans is a waste of time. Talking to the Chinese is increasingly unlikely to produce the kind of result we need. So you’re getting down fairly quickly to a binary choice—live with North Korea with nuclear weapons ... or look at military force.”