Trump will 'size Kim Jong Un up' and look for 'real' commitment at summit

On "This Week," President Trump's national security adviser John Bolton discusses the president's meeting with the North Korean leader, scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.
17:08 | 05/13/18

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Transcript for Trump will 'size Kim Jong Un up' and look for 'real' commitment at summit
And next month, the president's promise the make better deals for America and to walk away twr the table if necessary will be put to the test. As he comes face to face with North Korea's leader. The summit set for June 12th in Singapore. It seems like president trump is inching towards resolving north Korea's nuclear threat. Just yesterday, North Korea confirmed it will soon dismantle a nuclear test site at a public ceremony to ensure transparency. Although there are doubts whether the site is even operable. And of course we saw the historic prisoner release on Thursday. Trump on the tarmac at joint base Andrews in the early morning hours. Greeting the three Americans released by North Korea. And praising leader Kim Jong-un. That certainly is a marked change from when I was last in the region. When the tension was palpable. And the escalating rhetoric between trump and Kim Jong-un seemed more like schoolyard taunts. But there's no guarantee of success at the summit. And the outcomes from those mow men us to -- momentous moves this week are potentially far-reaching and unpredictable. Let's talk about that with the president's national security adviser John Bolton. Joining us live this the studio. Good morning, ambassador. This meeting is unprecedented, of course. The outcome historically of high-level meetings are kind of predetermined. President trump says we're going to make a great deal for the world. Mike Pompeo says the U.S. And thort Korea have complete agreement about what the objectives are. So what kind of nuts and bolts are still needed to be resolved? I don't think the president has stars in his eyes. What we need to see from Kim Jong-un is that he and the entire north Korean regime have made a strategic decision that they'll be better off without weapons of mass destruction. I think one advantage of the meeting between president trump and Kim Jong-un so soon, in effect, without months and months and months of preparation is that president trump will be able to size Kim Jong-un up and see if the commitment is real. So what's really nonnegotiable? I think the denuclearization is at the core of it. Not just the nuclear weapons. North Korea has agreed many times to give up the uranium enrichment and plu tone youm reprocessing capabilities. We have to look at chemical and biological weapons. There are a range of things to discuss. So that is really Jong-un will come through on this. It's the reason why the president is optimistic and realistic at the same time. Let's go back to those terms. Verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. That's what has to happen? Yes. Before the benefits start to flow. I think the objective for north Korea is to see if they want to become a Normal nation. The benefit, you say, before the benefits have to flow. We would give them nothing until all of this has happened? Not just beginning it? We want to see the denuclearization process so completely under way that it's irreversible. What does that look like? I think the implementation of the decision means getting rid of the nuclear weapons. Dismantling them. Taking them to oak ridge, Tennessee. It means getting rid of the uranium enrichment and plutonium capabilities. North Korea has a very extensive program. It won't be easy to do. It will require discussion with North Korea. They'll have to reveal all locations. They're going to have to allow open inspection. The deconstruction of the nuclear weapons, I think, will be by the United States with perhaps assistance from others. Because it's not in the iaea 'S remit. We hope to do it very quickly. And this is really -- One day? Do you agree on all of this in one day? However? We'll see how far they get. I was speaking of the -- I know that. But you can determine all of this in one day? We'll see. I think it's something they're prepared to carry through on. Other discussions could occur. I don't think anybody is going to believe that we'll sign the complete ending of the nuclear program in one day. We're interested in operationalizing the commitment as quickly as possible. And that is in North Korea's interests. When you say how long will it take for the benefits to flow? In many respects, it's in north Korea's hands. If they want to see opening to the rest of the world. If they want to become a Normal nation like South Korea, the quicker they denuclearize, the quicker that will come. Kim has stopped testing nuclear weapons. Ballistic missiles. He released those prisoners. But he's in a strong position because of his nuclear weapons capabilities and ballistic missiles. What do you think he wants in return? Well, if he wants to be a Normal nation, if he wants to have Normal relations with the rest of the world. If he wants trade and investment to be possible for his desperately poor country, this is the path to do it. Nuclear weapons don't make north Korea more safe or more prosperous. If you look at the maps at night. The pictures. The south is lit up. You can almost draw the lines of the coastline. North Korea, you can't tell the difference between North Korea and the quell Lowe sea on the the west. And the the sea of Japan on the east. It's remarkable. I have talked to a lot of pilots about that. It's amazing. That's the choice Kim Jong-un can make if he gives up capabilities. Mike Pompeo says if north Korea takes bold action, the United States is prepared to work with North Korea to achieve prosperity on par with south Korea. The administration is prepared to make an economic investment? I think we're open to trading and investment with north Korean as soon as we can. And will the U.S. Consider any sanctions relief before you see what you outlined there? We need to see implementation. I don't think the present policy will change until that happens. Before becoming national security adviser, you were pretty negative about Kim Jong-un the. You didn't trust him. You famously said, how know theorth Korean regime is lying? Their lips are moving. The U.S. Is going to want verification of all of this, which you have outlined. But just in this last month, since you became national security adviser, has your opinion of Kim changed? Have you seen a different Kim? Have you learned anything about him that's changed your opinion? As a general proposition, I have read and said a lot of things in the past. I was a free agent. It was a wonderful way to be able to get your opinions about. But I'm not going to compare and contrast what I said over a long period of time with what I do now because, the advice that I give to the president, I give to him and not to discuss. I think the key point here is that the president's going to make the decision when he sits down with Kim Jong-un just what exactly the north is up to. And he'll size him up. And he's an outstanding -- got an outstanding ability to do that. We'll see what comes from it. I want to go back to that. I wasn't wanting you to compare. I want to know if there is anything you have learned about him, obviously not classified, just from looking at him or seeing what actions he's taken, is it possible that he wasn't the man you thought he was months ago? That he really does want to open up his country and change? Is he not the dictator you thought he was? I suppose I could duck that by saying you ought to ask Mike Pompeo who has had the pleasure of meeting him twice. I don't think this is a question of psychoanalyzing him. It's a question of what he's willing to do. We were so happy to see the American prisoner released. It did bring to mind Otto Warmbier who died six days after he was here. Because he was severely brain damaged. Do you think he was tortured or they inadvertently killed him? I don't think that -- there's much doubt that his condition was due to his treatment in north Korean prisons. And we have seen the same pattern of behavior over the years. That's the kind of pattern of behavior that is simply unacceptable. Do you think he was tortured? Unacceptable! Look, I'm not going to get into the specifics. It goes to the critical point of if North Korea wants to be a Normal nation, that has to be not only ceased the. It has to be exposed, in the past, for the benefit of, for example, the families of Japan. Whose children were kidnapped by North Korea over a period of years. If the north really wants to change their behavior, they have a very bright future ahead of them. I want to move on to the Iran deal in a moment. The president has criticized Iran and the Iran deal because it didn't address human rights. The state department says north Korea violates the human rights of those within its borders every day. Kim Jong-un is accused of killing his half brother. Will the president talk about human rights? He'll raise the question about the Japanese abductees. Prime minister Abe of Japan asked him to do it. He said he would. The south Koreans are very concerned about the south Korean citizens kidnapped over the years. It's a proper subject to raise. And beyond that? Well, I think the first meeting is going to be on the critical issue of denuclearization. There are other subjects to discuss with North Korea. It would be a factor for American businesses, foreign businesses, about whether they're going to be involved in North Korea if the climate doesn't change. Back on the Iran deal. What parts of the jpcoa did Iran violate in your eyes? The allies say nothing. The inspectors say nothing. The inspectors don't know everything. You can't say Iran didn't violate the deal because we don't have adequate inspections. They call them the most robust in the world. That's wrong. That's just simply wrong. We have?? incorrecto. Had an adequate delaration from Iran of their prior military activities in connection with the military program. It was a fundamental flaw of the negotiation of the deal that they gave that up. That violates every precept. Nor have we had, since the implementation of the deal, any inspection of military facilities where the weaponization activities of the Iranians might be conducted. What we saw when the Israelis released this treasure trove of prior information, there was a prior military capability. More over, during the entire course -- Which they knew when they signed this, correct? So, right. If you believe what you've just said, and if Barack Obama and John Kerry believe what you just said, they lied to the American people. Because if resolution 2231, the fifth preambular paragraph, it says, we welcome Iran's reaffirming that they don't have intention of having a nuclear weapons program. It was a lie at the time. The administration knew it was a lie and accepted it any way. The Israeli information showed on the weaponization aspect, Iran is one file drawer away from being pulled out to being right back on track. And that's only what's in the files. We have no idea what they have done since then. This network revealed in 2007 the weaponization activities in Iran. Which the Iranians have flatly denied ever since. That's the kind of background that leads you to believe that the Iranians never had any real intention of complying. So in the interim, are we safer? How can we know about their nuclear weapons program? Well, I think we have inadequate information on the nuclear weapons program now. So the real answer to your question is we don't know. Since we don't know where they are now, we won't know where they are for sure in the near future. I will tell you, if you look at the advances Iran has made under cover of the agreement. Its convention military and terrorist advances in Iraq, in Syria, in Lebanon, in Yemen, since 2015, Iran was on the March. They were shifting the balance of power in the Middle East. Until president trump got out of this deal. Would you advocate for regime change? That is not the policy of the administration. The policy is to make sure that Iran never gets close to deliverable weapons. And reports this morning in "The New York Times" say the United States and Europe had reached consensus on 90% of a supplemental agreement. According to people involved in the talks. Is that true? I don't believe it's true. I have read the text of the supplemental agreement. It didn't address the flaws. President trump identified them two years ago. Nobody in the world, nobody should be surprised that the president's entirely consistent view of the negative aspects of this deal finally materialized on Tuesday. And the U.S. Getting out of the deal. The leaders of the uk, France, Germany, issued a joint statement. Emphasizing their continued commitment to the nuclear deal. They say Iran has been compliant and quote, the world is a safer place as a result. The new ambassador to Germany tweeted this. After that. As real Donald Trump said, U.S. Sanctions will target critical sectors of Iran's economy. German companies doing business in Iran should wind down immediately. The ambassador is making a suggestion, of course, not a demand. The president said on Tuesday that countries that continue to deal with Iran could face U.S. Sanctions. Much of what they would like to sell to Iran involves U.S. The technologies, they include licenses that will not be available. This was the part of the the flaw of the deal, to entice Europe and the United States into agreements with Iran that would work against holding them accountable for the deal. It's reminiscent of the saying attributed to Lenin. That the capitalists will sell us the rope with which we'll hang them. Why do business with the world's central banker of international terrorism? I want to turn to a German magazine. They put a graphic on the cover of their magazine. Depicting Donald Trump essentially giving our allies the finger. They wrote this is this -- this in an editorial. The west as we once knew it no longer exists. It is impossible to overstate what trump has dismantled in the last 16 months. Europe has lost its protections of power. It's lost the global political influence that it was only able to exert because the U.S. Stood by its side. Are you concerned that withdrawal will drive a wedge between the U.S. And its European allies? I think the comment you read is silly. I don't think it reflects reality. I think the Europeans are disappointed we got out of the deal. Perhaps because representatives of the Obama administration were working in the last several weeks to try to prevent the deal -- the U.S. From abrogating the deal. They may have given the Europeans the false impression that they would prevail. I think we'll work with all of the Europeans. As the president has discussed with the leaders of Germany, England, and France, to move beyond the deal. We share the common objective of making sure Iran doesn't get nuclear weapons. We're worried about their terribly destabilizing and threatening military behavior across the region. And their ballistic missile program. We're going to work to stop it. The American embassy in Jerusalem opening tomorrow. Will that make it harder or easier to get any sort of peace? I think it will make it easier. It's a recognition of reality. If you're not prepared to recognize that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that's where the American embassy should be, then you're operating on a completely different wavelength. I think recognizing reality always enhances the chances for peace. Okay. With that, we'll end it. Thank you very much. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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