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Hawks resurgent

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01.04.2019

By John Burton

It has been more than a month since the collapse of the summit in Hanoi between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung-un and there are signs that the hawks are trying to reassert their influence in Washington.

Attention has focused on John Bolton, the U.S National Security Adviser, who has consistently pursued a hardline policy on North Korea since his days in the George W. Bush administration. When Bolton was appointed Trump's top security adviser last year, there was widespread speculation that he would try to derail reconciliation moves between Washington and Pyongyang. But Trump's willingness to hold two summits with Kim suggested that Bolton had been sidelined.

Since the Hanoi summit, Bolton has become more outspoken. He has blamed North Korea for being unwilling to take the necessary steps to reach a nuclear deal. Bolton's remarks suggest a return to an "all or nothing" stance of demanding that North Korea first denuclearize before sanctions are lifted.

Bolton also has renewed calls for China to take a tougher stance on the North. "What [the Chinese] could do more of is apply more pressure on North Korea. They could apply the U.N. sanctions more tightly. They control 90 percent of North Korea's external trade,........

© The Korea Times