North Korea summit in Hanoi not a failure, Bolton insists

Fox News’ Chris Wallace corners John Bolton over Trump’s ‘failed summit’ with Kim Jong-un

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un bids farewell to the crowd before boarding his train to depart for North Korea at Dong Dang railway station in Vietnam on Saturday.

Peter Brookes uses Eisenstaedt's iconic Life magazine photograph of the sailor kissing the nurse at the end of World War II in Times Square to mock Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un's "relationship" after the Hanoi nuclear summit. Bolton, in three television interviews, tried to make the case that Trump advanced America's national security interests by rejecting a bad agreement while working to persuade Kim to take "the big deal that really could make a difference for North Korea".

"I never think it is helpful to have, I don't care what president's in office, to have contentious hearings like that when there is some serious negotiations happening overseas", said Rogers.

As for Bolton, he flat-out refused to give an opinion on the matter that didn't align with the president. "I don't view it as a failure at all when American national interests are protected", Bolton added.

The summit's collapse followed the leaders' historic meeting in Singapore, which produced only a vague commitment from Kim to work "toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

According to a senior United States official, Pyongyang in return offered only to close down "a portion of the Yongbyon complex", a sprawling site covering multiple nuclear facilities - and the North is believed to have other uranium enrichment plants.

But Pyongyang put a narrower denuclearization option on the table, more focused on "the Yongbyon complex which includes an aging nuclear reactor and some percentage of their uranium enrichment plutonium reprocessing capabilities", Bolton said.

But his call for partial sanctions relief to induce nuclear disarmament steps from the North has caused disagreements with Washington, which sees economic pressure as its main leverage with Pyongyang.

Bolton said Trump's "got a hard line to walk to" in negotiating with North Korea.

Do you think we should take note of the fact that it's actually John Bolton that's speaking of this "deal".

"I think that this was a spectacular failure but made all the worse by the president's obsequious comments when it came to the murder of an American citizen, Otto Warmbier", the Democratic lawmaker said.

Trump said that North Korea had asked for "sanctions lifted in their entirety", while North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho later announced Pyongyang wanted the "partial removal" of worldwide restrictions.

They described it as an effort to support diplomacy aimed at resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis.

McCarthy added that the United States left sanctions against North Korea that were named after Warmbier in place.

Yongbyon, long at the heart of the reclusive state's nuclear program, has seen its importance drop in recent years as North Korea turned to other secret facilities to produce fissile material for bombs and missiles that could carry a warhead to the US mainland.

Opponents of scrapping the drills warn that it could affect the combat readiness of US and South Korean forces and hand the North a strategic advantage on the divided peninsula.

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