North Korea is now more dangerous because of the advances it has made in its nuclear capabilities in recent years, former National Security Advisor John Bolton told CNBC on Wednesday.
At a military parade on Saturday, North Korea showed off its new weapons, including a giant ICBM that could potentially be more deadly – either due to multiple warheads or a larger payload, Reuters reported, citing military analysts.
“The fact is, we wasted a lot of time on Trump̵
“Rogue states need time to perfect their nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities. That is exactly what Kim Jong Un did,” he said, referring to the North Korean leader.
A man who watched a television broadcast at Seoul Station in South Korea that showed a military parade in North Korea marking the 75th anniversary of the ruling party’s founding day on October 10, 2020
Chung Sung-Jun | Getty Images
Since Trump became president, he has held two nuclear summits with Kim in Singapore and Vietnam – but neither did much. Trump tried to get Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons, raising the prospect of economic recovery for the country, which had to struggle under the weight of crippling international sanctions from both the United Nations and the United States
The sanctions are designed to cut funding for North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. Experts previously said Kim would like sanctions to be relaxed without losing the strategic advantages of his weapons of mass destruction.
“I think it’s more dangerous now because North Korea has made progress,” said Bolton.
He added that in the event The fact that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins the November elections and deals with North Korea will “be a tough game for the Biden government”.
Public opinion is hardening against China
Bolton also weighed on growing tensions between China and Taiwan and the US’s perception of Beijing.
“China is a much bigger issue, a more existential issue for the United States,” said Bolton.
Taipei has built closer ties with Washington and drawn many protests from Beijing. China sees Taiwan as part of its territory that must one day be reunited with the mainland and should therefore not have the right to international diplomacy. While the US does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, it is the island’s most powerful international financier and its largest arms supplier.
“I think in Taiwan, China really wants Taiwan to fall into its lap like a ripe fruit,” said Bolton. “They don’t want a war, they don’t want the island to be destroyed. But on the other hand, they definitely want it back. The Taiwanese don’t want to go back.”
If Biden wins the election, it will be a difficult task for his administration, according to Bolton. Relations between the US and China deteriorated significantly under the Trump administration – first because of a trade war, then because of a struggle for technological dominance. In addition, Trump has repeatedly blamed China for the coronavirus pandemic that has killed at least 215,000 people in the US to date.
“Public opinion in the US is intensifying towards China,” Bolton said, adding that Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus has created negative perceptions of the world’s second largest economy in the US and other countries.
While former President Barack Obama’s administration has been “very accommodating” to China, there is no guarantee that if Biden wins the election, he will catch up with the change in public opinion, Bolton said.
“I wouldn’t expect to just go back to what it was like when Obama left office,” he added.