John Bolton, President Trump's former national security adviser, said the administration’s North Korea policy was “a wasted two years” and talks to get the country to denuclearize “are doomed to failure.” “It was perfectly evident it was going to fail,” Bolton told an audience at Duke University of the president’s talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. “There is not a single piece of evidence that the government of North Korea has made a strategic decision to give up the pursuit of nuclear weapons.” He added that North Korea’s real objective is to “break free” from sanctions.
Bolton has been critical of the administration’s North Korea policy since his ouster last year, a clear change of tune from his more optimistic tone while he was still employed at the White House. “The president is fully prepared to have a third summit if he can get a real deal,” Bolton told Bloomberg News in April, noting there was no indication at that point that there was any real progress toward denuclearization. Upon hearing the news of his dismissal, North Korea praised Trump for sacking the “nasty troublemaker.”