John Bolton Was a 'Troublemaker' and Trump Was 'Wise' to Remove Him, North Korean Nuclear Negotiator Says

North Korea's head nuclear negotiator has praised President Donald Trump for dismissing National Security Adviser John Bolton, suggesting that without his hawkish influence the two nations will have a better chance of reaching an agreement on denuclearization.

Kim Myong Gil said Friday that he welcomed Trump's suggestion that a "new method" of negotiation might reach a deal, which has remained elusive despite thawing ties between Washington and Pyongyang.

Bolton's hawkish outlook won him few friends among America's rivals. From North Korea to Iran to Venezuela and further afield, the veteran diplomat's propensity for tough negotiating and military might made him an obstacle to Trump's deal-making instincts.

In the past, for example, North Korea officials have branded Bolton—who suggested deposing Kim Jong Un's regime using military force—a "war maniac" and "human scum."

Negotiator Kim suggested the president—who generally forgoes traditional negotiations and instead prefers made-for-TV one-on-one meetings, especially with dictators and strongmen—made a "wise political decision" in removing Bolton, according to Reuters. Bolton said he resigned, rather than having been fired.

Kim added that without a "troublemaker" in the U.S. administration—an apparent reference to Bolton—Trump's new approach could re-energize the stalled discussions on denuclearization and sanctions relief.

Kim said he wants to be "optimistic" about the U.S. approach to the next round of discussions, hoping Trump's representatives will present the "right calculation method at the upcoming talks."

"At the moment I am not quite sure what he implied in his suggestion of 'new method' but to me it seems he wanted to imply that a step-by-step solution starting with the things feasible first while building trust in each other would be the best option," Kim said in a statement carried by the North's official KCNA news agency.

Bolton was blamed for the failure of the Hanoi summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un in February, which broke up early amid disagreements over disarmament.

Bolton reportedly urged Trump to hand Kim a piece of paper demanding that North Korea transfer all nuclear weapons and bomb fuel to the U.S. before any sanctions were lifted, Reuters explained. This prompted the North Korean leader to abandon the talks.

Trump was openly critical of Bolton after he left the administration, including of his advice that North Korea follow the so-called "Libya model"—i.e. handing over all nuclear weapons.

The president said the approach "set us back very badly" in negotiations. "I think John really should take a look at how badly they've done in the past and maybe a new method would be very good," Trump told reporters Wednesday while visiting the border in California.

Asked about Bolton's suggestion that the North Korea talks were "doomed to fail," the president replied: "He may be right and he may be wrong...Let's see what happens. Only time will tell."

John Bolton, Donald Trump, North Korea, nuclear
John Bolton talks to reporters outside of the White House West Wing April 30, 2019 in Washington, D.C. North Korea's head nuclear negotiator has praised President Donald Trump for dismissing Bolton from his post as national security adviser. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/Getty