John Bolton Contradicts Trump North Korea Nuclear Disarmament Claims, Says Kim Jong Un 'Will Never Give Up'

Ex-White House national security adviser John Bolton rebuked President Donald Trump's repeated North Korea disarmament claims, declaring Monday that Kim Jong-Un "will never give up its nuclear weapons voluntarily."

Bolton relished in being able to speak Monday morning in "unvarnished terms" at Washington D.C.'s Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Bolton, who was pushed out of the Trump administration on September 10 over several foreign policy disagreements with the president, pushed back against Trump's continued claims of making diplomatic strides in North Korea. The former national security adviser said the country's regime has zero intention of relinquishing its nuclear weapon capability regardless of what the president has claimed.

North Korea "has not made a strategic decision to give up their nuclear weapons. I think the contrary is true," Bolton said in his first lengthy public speech since leaving the Trump administration. This contradicts several statements made by the president, who has had three meetings with Kim over the past 15 months.

"The strategic decision Kim Jong Un has made is to do whatever he can to keep nuclear weapons capability and development," Bolton added.

Bolton stressed that the United States must hold to past United Nations resolutions and sanctions against North Korea instead of allowing Trump to make concessions which inform other countries the U.S. "doesn't really care."

"When you ask for consistent behavior from others you have to demonstrate it yourself—and when we fail to do that, we open ourselves and our policy to failure," Bolton added in another veiled shot at the Trump administration.

He repeatedly said that North Korea's test of long rand short-range missiles "are not an encouraging sign, that's something to be worried about." He noted it "bodes poorly" for the safety of Japan, South Korea, and even the United States moving forward.

Trump frequently touts North Korea's two-year moratorium on the testing of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles as evidence of his own successful negotiations and relationship with the communist regime. But Bolton said the North Korean government has already "finished testing" and can currently produce nuclear warheads and long-range ballistic missiles.

"[The testing moratorium] tells us nothing about North Korea's intentions or strategy," Bolton said, urging listeners to push for an "inspection system so robust and thorough they may well think it threatens the viability of their regime ... [they will] never give up enough voluntarily."

But Trump has remained steadfast in his Twitter claims that his personal talks with Kim have revealed enough good faith on behalf of the North Korean government.

"Kim Jong Un and North Korea tested 3 short range missiles over the last number of days. These missiles tests are not a violation of our signed Singapore agreement, nor was there discussion of short range missiles when we shook hands. There may be a United Nations violation, but Chairman Kim does not want to disappoint me with a violation of trust, there is far too much for North Korea to gain - the potential as a Country, under Kim Jong Un's leadership, is unlimited," Trump tweeted in August following reports of additional testing.

The two leaders have forged a bizarre relationship which began with Trump mocking Kim as "rocket man" and boasting in January 2018 about having his own "nuclear button" on his desk at all times.

Bolton and Trump's relationship, on the other hand, has soured dramatically in recent weeks, with the president saying he couldn't blame North Korea for "wanting nothing to do" with his former national security adviser. Bolton did not mention Trump by name throughout his discussion, but reiterated that North Korea is directly "violating resolutions" under the nose of his administration.

John Bolton Resigns Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks as national security adviser John Bolton listens during a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, in the Oval Office of the White House on May 22, 2018, in Washington D.C. Oliver Contreras/Pool/Getty Images