WASHINGTON - U.S. national security adviser John Bolton accused North Korea Tuesday of failing to move ahead with denuclearization pledged by Pyongyang leader Kim Jong Un at his Singapore summit in June with U.S. President Donald Trump.
"What we really need is not more rhetoric," Bolton said in an interview on Fox News. "What we need is performance from North Korea on denuclearization."
He said that since the summit, North Korea "has not taken the steps we feel are necessary to denuclearize."
Bolton said the U.S. is not considering relaxation of its economic sanctions against Pyongyang.
The key White House official said that Trump, in a recent letter to Kim, proposed sending U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo back to the North Korean capital for further talks. Trump also said he was willing to hold a second summit with Kim.
It was the second time in three days that Bolton expressed irritation at Pyongyang's slow moves in implementing Kim's vague pledge to Trump to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. His attacks came as U.S. news reports said North Korea was continuing to build missiles and produce plutonium.
'Waiting to see evidence'
On Sunday, in another interview on Fox, Bolton said that "there's nobody" in Trump's administration that is "starry-eyed about the prospects of North Korea actually denuclearizing."
He said the "point may well come" when the U.S. concludes that Kim does not intend to give up his country's nuclear weapons.
Bolton said Trump is giving Kim ample time to move toward denuclearization, which Trump administration officials are hopeful of completing by the end of the president's first term in the White House in early 2021.
"The president is giving Kim Jong Un a master class on how to hold a door open for somebody," Bolton said, "and if the North Koreans can't figure out how to walk through it, even the president's fiercest critics will not be able to say it's because he didn't open it wide enough."
The national security adviser said, "If they make a strategic decision to give up nuclear weapons, they can do it within a year. We are waiting to see evidence that in fact that strategic decision has been made."