John Bolton called for US cooperation with China and said the neighbouring nation’s intervention would be key in ending North Korea’s nuclear programme.
He said uniting the country with South Korea was the “only way it’s going to happen”.
Speaking to Fox News, he said: “I don’t think a strategy that relies on pressuring North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons is going to work.
“Look, we’ve tried for 25 years across Republican and Democratic administrations to persuade the North Koreans to give up their quest for nuclear weapons.
John Bolton said reuniting North and South Korea was the "only way" to end its nuclear programme
I don’t think a strategy that relies on pressuring North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons is going to work
“We’ve tried persuasion, it’s failed, we’ve tried coercion, it’s failed.”
He said Kim Jong-un’s nuclear programme served as his regimes “insurance of its long-term viability”.
Mr Bolton said: “The fact is, this regime is never going to voluntarily give up nuclear weapons, they’re the ace in the hole.
“This is the regime’s insurance of its long-term viability and a simple pressure – they’ve resisted.
US Army soldiers prepare for WAR against North Korea
Fri, April 14, 2017
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The US military's largest non-nuclear bomb killed dozens of Islamic State militants as it smashed their mountain hideouts, Afghan officials said April 14, ruling out any civilian casualties despite the weapon's destructive capacity. The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb dubbed the 'Mother Of All Bombs' hit IS positions in Achin district in eastern Nangarhar province
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“And beyond that, the only country that can put effective pressure on them is china which understands very well how fragile this regime is and China fears it puts too much pressure on, the regime will collapse.”
However, he said the collapse of the North Korean regime was in China’s best interests.
He said: “Actually what our objectives should be and what we need to do is explain to China that it’s in their interest, despite years of policy to the contrary.
“It’s in their interest to see North and South Korea reunited in a sensible way, that would end the North Korean nuclear weapons programme and in my view that’s the only way it’s going to happen.”
The comments come after the US dropped a MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Blast) bomb on an ISIS tunnel in Nangahar, Afghanistan, sparking a response from North Korea.
North Korea’s state agency KCNA warned against “serious military hysteria” and said US military action in Afghanistan “could not be overlooked”.
The US President is now deploying an “armada” into the Sea of Japan in response to Kim’s nuclear threat, and is reportedly assessing a number of military options.