By Yoshinari Kurose, Washington D.C.
Former U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, who published a book disclosing the foreign policy of the U.S. administration of President Donald Trump in late June, sat down for a telephone interview with the Sankei Shimbun on July 7.
Regarding the stalemate in talks to denuclearize North Korea, Bolton said if it becomes evident that President Trump is behind in the November presidential race, “He is likely to meet again with Workers’ Party of Korea Chairman Kim Jong Un in October” as a way to revive the talks.
But Bolton said “North Korea intends to stick to its nuclear program” and added that even if the leaders of the two countries do meet again, “absolutely no progress can be expected.”
On the other hand, Bolton said President Trump brought up North Korea’s abduction of Japanese nationals at all meetings with Kim at the request of the Japanese government and others and gave high marks to the effort.
As for President Trump’s recent stronger rhetoric on China despite his being depicted as conciliatory to Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Bolton’s book, Bolton said, “That’s a good example of President Trump’s lack of a consistent policy (toward China).” Bolton also expressed the strong concern that if the President is re-elected, he will block criticism of China and “return to negotiations on a major trade deal.” (Abridged)