TOKYO (REUTERS, BLOOMBERG) - US President Donald Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, said on Saturday (May 25) there was "no doubt" North Korea's recent test missile launches violated United Nations resolutions.
It was the first time a senior US official has described the tests as a violation of UN resolutions aimed at halting North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes and came ahead of a four-day visit to Japan by US President Donald Trump who arrives later in the day.
"The UN resolution prohibits the launch of any ballistic missiles," Bolton said at a press roundtable in Tokyo. “In terms of violating UN Security Council resolutions, there’s no doubt about that.”
Earlier this month, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the first flight of a previously untested weapon - a relatively small, fast missile experts believe will be easier to hide, launch, and maneuver in flight.
Bolton added Washington would not change its position from the one outlined at the last summit between the United States and North Korea in Hanoi but that "Trump has held the door open for Kim".
He added that Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would talk about “making sure the integrity of the Security Council resolutions is maintained.”
Bolton said the US has had little contact with North Korea since Trump’s February summit with leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi collapsed without a deal.
He added that the US’ special envoy to North Korea, Stephen Biegun, “can’t wait to talk to his North Korean counterpart, but they haven’t responded".
Asked about Abe’s declaration that he would be ready to hold a summit with Kim without preconditions, Bolton said it “would be in North Korea’s interests to accommodate the prime minister.”
Such a meeting “could well be a substantial assistance” to resolving the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by the North, as well as the missile and nuclear problems, he said.
Trump is expected to discuss topics ranging from North Korea's nuclear missiles to China and two-way trade when he meets Abe on Monday.