National security adviser John Bolton assures the public that President Trump is keeping a close eye on North Korea and ISIS — situations Trump has said were under control.
Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” Bolton addressed new satellite images indicating Kim Jong-un has ramped up his nation’s nuclear ambitions, just weeks after Trump and the North Korean leader failed to reach a non-proliferation deal during their meeting in Vietnam.
“(The United States) expends a lot of resources and efforts so we don’t have to rely on commercial satellite imagery,” Bolton said of reports showing what appears to be the construction of a new missile launch site in North Korea.
Bolton said the White House is aware of those reports and is monitoring the situation with cautious optimism and would be “disappointed” if Kim tested a missile.
“The President said repeatedly that he feels the absence of nuclear tests, the absence of ballistic missile launches is a positive sign,” he said.
Following his first meeting with Kim in Singapore in June, Trump declared North Korea’s missile program was no longer a threat
“Everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office,” Trump tweeted upon returning to the United States. “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”
The mercurial nation has not tested missiles or weapons of mass destruction since that summit. Trump repeated his claim last month after his second meeting with Kim, where no formal agreements were reached.
“One of the things Chairman Kim promised me last night is, regardless, he’s not going to do testing of rockets and nuclear – not going to do testing,” Trump said. He added, “I trust him and I take him at his word.”
Bolton also told “This Week” host Martha Raddatz that President Trump understands the war against ISIS isn’t over, even though he said on Dec. 19 that the terror group has been conquered and U.S. forces would be coming home from Syria immediately.
“We have won against ISIS,” the President declared. “We have beaten them and we’ve beaten them badly, we have taken back the land and now it is time for our troops to come back home.”
Following bi-partisan criticism for his assessment of the situation, Trump decided to keep hundreds of U.S. troops in Syria.
On Sunday, Bolton clarified the administration’s decision.
“The ISIS threat, the al Qaeda threat, the terrorist threat is an ideological threat worldwide and it’s something that I think we have to be vigilant against for the foreseeable future,” Bolton said.
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