National Security Advisor John Bolton called a New York Times article saying the U.S. would potentially endorse a North Korean nuclear freeze deal “reprehensible” and denied alleged talks on the topic in a tweet Monday.
“A real idea has been taking shape inside the Trump administration,” according to the Sunday article.
It described the potential change as a nuclear freeze that would accept North Korea as a nuclear power.
Bolton condemned the NYT article Monday, saying “there should be consequences” for whomever spread the information.
I read this NYT story with curiosity. Neither the NSC staff nor I have discussed or heard of any desire to “settle for a nuclear freeze by NK.” This was a reprehensible attempt by someone to box in the President. There should be consequences. https://t.co/TTRPQkksza
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) July 1, 2019
A nuclear freeze would allow North Korea to keep weapons it already has, but stop more weapons from being made. The Trump administration has been vocal about having complete denuclearization.
“The concept would amount to a nuclear freeze, one that essentially enshrines the status quo, and tacitly accepts the North as a nuclear power, something administration officials have often said they would never stand for,” the article states.
“The administration still insists in public and in private that its goals remain full denuclearization,” it continues.
It is unclear where the information regarding secret talks about a nuclear freeze for North Korea came from, but Bolton shot down the article in its entirety.
“This was a reprehensible attempt by someone to box in the President,” Bolton wrote in a tweet.
Stephen E. Biegun, the North Korean envoy from the State Department, said these ideas are “pure speculation” and are “not preparing any new proposal currently,” the NYT reported.
This approach bears resemblance to the nuclear freeze former President Bill Clinton made with the father of North Korean President Kim Jong-un, according to the NYT. That nuclear deal freeze disintegrated after a few years when it was discovered that North Korea was looking to still develop bombs.
The NYT article also questioned whether Trump cares about developing a “tough denuclearization deal” or is more focused on the “illusion of progress to present himself to voters as a peacemaker.” (RELATED: Sanders Says He Has ‘No Problem’ With Trump Meeting Kim Jon Un At The DMZ)
The article came hours after Trump entered North Korea Sunday, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to step foot into the country.
The NYT did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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