June 11, 2019 / 1:37 PM / 5 days ago

Third U.S.-North Korea summit possible, up to Kim: Bolton

FILE PHOTO: White House national security adviser John Bolton speaks about the political unrest in Venezuela after violence broke out at anti-government protests near Caracas, outside the White House in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A third summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is possible but the ball is in Pyongyang’s court, White House national security adviser John Bolton said on Tuesday.

While North Korea had kept pledges not to conduct nuclear or intercontinental range ballistic missile tests, Bolton said the United States was continuing its “maximum pressure campaign” because Kim still appeared not to have made “a strategic decision to give up the pursuit of deliverable nuclear weapons.”

Bolton, speaking at a conference hosted by the Wall Street Journal, said it was “entirely possible” there could be a third Trump-Kim summit following their earlier meetings in Singapore and Vietnam. “Kim Jong Un holds the key,” he said.

“We are ready when they are, so it’s - any time that they want to schedule it,” Bolton said.

Trump and Kim’s most recent meeting, in Hanoi in February, failed to result in a deal because of conflicts over U.S. calls for Pyongyang’s complete denuclearization and North Korean demands for sanctions relief. Since then, diplomatic efforts have stalled since, there are no signs of plans for a new meeting and North Korea conducted short-range missile tests last month.

Earlier, North Korean state media called on Washington on Tuesday to “withdraw its hostile policy” toward Pyongyang or agreements made at the first Trump-Kim meeting in Singapore a year ago might become “a blank sheet of paper.”

Before their meetings, Trump and Kim exchanged insulting rhetoric but since then Trump has said they “fell in love.”

Reporting By Arshad Mohammed and Jonathan Landay; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bill Trott

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