Axios: Bolton sharply criticizes Trump's North Korea policy as failing

Former national security adviser John Bolton issued his sharpest rebuke of the White House's approach to North Korea's nuclear ambitions in a new interview with Axios, asserting that "the idea that we are somehow exerting maximum pressure on North Korea is just unfortunately not true." CNN's Paula Hancocks has more on the tensions between North Korea and the US.

Posted: Dec 23, 2019 8:00 PM
Updated: Dec 23, 2019 8:00 PM

Former national security adviser John Bolton has issued his sharpest rebuke of the White House's approach to North Korea's nuclear ambitions in a new interview with Axios published Sunday, asserting that "the idea that we are somehow exerting maximum pressure on North Korea is just unfortunately not true."

His comments come as North Korea may be preparing to test engines and other components of its missile program, an administration official tells CNN.

Bolton told Axios he does not think the White House "really means it" when President Donald Trump pledges to halt the hermit nation from nuclear weapon development or "it would be pursuing a different course."

"We're now nearly three years into the administration with no visible progress toward getting North Korea to make the strategic decision to stop pursuing deliverable nuclear weapons," he told the news outlet.

Administration officials are monitoring satellite imagery for signs that North Korea may soon conduct a new round of weapons testing to deliver the "Christmas gift" that Pyongyang's officials have promised the US if it doesn't ease up on sanctions.

Due to North Korean measures to hide activities at multiple sites, the US cannot be certain what North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may order to be tested, one official said. One scenario suggests a test of a long-range missile or launch of a satellite on a long-range booster.

"Time is on the side of the proliferator," Bolton told Axios. "The more time there is, the more time there is to develop, test and refine both the nuclear component and the ballistic missile component of the program."

The Trump administration has been trying to negotiate with North Korea to have it dismantle its nuclear program, which poses a threat to US allies South Korea and Japan, and thousands of US troops based in both countries.

Those talks have been stalled -- even as Pyongyang has pursued technical improvements to its program that increasingly could put the US within range of its rockets.

Still, senior military commanders said Friday that the US is ready for "whatever" Pyongyang might do.

When asked about recent comments and indicators from North Korea that Pyongyang may be getting closer to a long-range missile test or some other provocative act, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said that the Pentagon does not "discuss any intelligence or indicators" on what the US may be seeing in the way of preparations.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 500709

Reported Deaths: 9977
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34312538
DeSoto32080403
Hinds31924627
Jackson24482379
Rankin21983390
Lee15530235
Madison14574280
Jones13838242
Forrest13447251
Lauderdale11985316
Lowndes11030188
Lamar10508135
Pearl River9503237
Lafayette8547139
Hancock7728126
Washington7422157
Oktibbeha7142131
Monroe6769176
Warren6682176
Pontotoc6659102
Neshoba6635206
Panola6520131
Marshall6462134
Bolivar6313148
Union602494
Pike5817152
Alcorn5667101
Lincoln5433135
George496779
Scott472698
Tippah469081
Prentiss466881
Leflore4657144
Itawamba4633105
Adams4586119
Tate4584110
Copiah448592
Simpson4445116
Yazoo443987
Wayne439772
Covington428794
Sunflower4237105
Marion4225108
Coahoma4159104
Leake408288
Newton381679
Grenada3706108
Stone359764
Tishomingo359692
Attala331489
Jasper329965
Winston314291
Clay307976
Chickasaw299667
Clarke292494
Calhoun279346
Holmes267887
Smith263850
Yalobusha233747
Tallahatchie227151
Greene219048
Walthall218763
Lawrence212440
Perry205356
Amite205155
Webster202746
Noxubee186640
Montgomery179656
Jefferson Davis171542
Carroll168838
Tunica159439
Benton148738
Kemper141941
Choctaw133426
Claiborne132437
Humphreys129238
Franklin120028
Quitman106428
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson94534
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 817054

Reported Deaths: 15320
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1145501922
Mobile724601333
Madison52172694
Shelby37533348
Baldwin37192547
Tuscaloosa35044606
Montgomery34067734
Lee23195245
Calhoun22205476
Morgan20754376
Etowah19811497
Marshall18317302
Houston17345411
St. Clair15983339
Cullman15383292
Limestone15298198
Elmore15161284
Lauderdale14225294
Talladega13802276
DeKalb12622260
Walker11162369
Blount10162175
Autauga9954146
Jackson9844182
Coffee9195191
Dale8880185
Colbert8826201
Tallapoosa7071198
Escambia6764130
Covington6699183
Chilton6627161
Russell627959
Franklin5955105
Chambers5567142
Marion4982126
Dallas4936200
Clarke474583
Pike4722105
Geneva4566126
Winston4502103
Lawrence4296117
Bibb424086
Barbour356676
Marengo337789
Monroe331463
Randolph328763
Butler325696
Pickens315682
Henry311965
Hale311088
Cherokee301760
Fayette291879
Washington251351
Cleburne247360
Crenshaw244375
Clay241768
Macon232363
Lamar222047
Conecuh185853
Coosa179739
Lowndes174564
Wilcox167939
Bullock151644
Perry138340
Sumter132738
Greene126644
Choctaw88127
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 55°
Columbus
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 56°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 50°
Starkville
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 56°
Clear cool and dry to begin your weekend, but both afternoons should be a little bit above what we expect for this time of year temperature wise. Rain chances begin to return late Sunday night, with at least two chances for storms over the next week, summer could be strong.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather