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Trump still open to third summit with Kim Jong Un, Bolton says

Rebuffing Putin, National Security Advisor says U.S. not interested in return to Six-Party talks

U.S. President Donald Trump remains open to the possibility of a third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, his National Security Advisor John Bolton said Sunday, in comments in which he ruled out a return to Six-Party talks-style negotiations over the nuclear issue.
Speaking to Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace, Bolton said President Trump felt “strongly” that he wanted another meeting with Kim and that he did not want a repeat of past mistakes in diplomacy with the DPRK.

“He feels pretty strongly about it,” he said. “He’s said repeatedly he thinks he has a good relationship with Kim Jong Un and the six-party approach failed in the past.”

Bolton’s comments come just a few days after the DPRK and Russia wrapped up their first summit in almost eight years — talks which saw President Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un vow to expand ties and discuss the issue of denuclearization.

Kremlin officials in the run-up to that meeting stressed Moscow’s view that a return to six-party talks, among other things, could be the only means to resolve the current impasse in nuclear negotiations — comments echoed by Putin during his summit with Kim.

“The format of the six-party talks could be quite useful, to offer international safety guarantees to North Korea,” he said, adding, however, that there would need to be “some confidence-building measures first.”

Bolton on Sunday, however, said such an approach was not “our preference” and that both Washington and Pyongyang preferred a top-down, leader-focused style of diplomacy.

“I think Kim Jong Un, at least up until now, has wanted the one-on-one contact with the United States, which is what he has gotten,” he said.

Both the DPRK leader and the U.S. President have in the past month expressed a willingness to meet for another summit, though Kim has stressed that he would only be interested in a “fair” deal beneficial to the two countries and not a repeat of February’s no-deal meeting in Hanoi.


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