United States National Security Advisor John Bolton, speaking to reporters on Saturday in Tokyo, has called a series of short-range missile tests by North Korea earlier this month a violation of UN Security Council resolutions and has said that sanctions must be kept in place.
“UN Security Council resolutions prohibit North Korea from firing any ballistic missiles,” Bolton said. “In terms of violating UN Security Council resolutions, there is no doubt about that.”
The U.S., however, is willing to resume talks with North Korea at any time, Bolton said.
Bolton said that North Korea on May 4 and 9 tested short-range ballistic missiles, ending a pause in launches that began in late 2017.
Washington says the talks broke down because North Korean demanded sanctions relief in exchange for partially surrendering its nuclear capabilities.
In a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency, the North Korean spokesman accused the U.S. of deliberately causing February’s collapse of talks between Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un by making unilateral and impossible demands.
Mr. Bolton acknowledged the U.S. has not been “hearing much from North Korea” since the Hanoi summit. Trump had walked away from the summit, claiming that Kim had insisted on the removal of all sanctions on North Korea. Pyongyang however rejected that account, stressing that it had only asked for a partial lifting of the bans.
Bolton’s statement comes a few days before the American President Donald Trump is due in Tokyo for a four-day visit.