Bolton Downplays Threat of North Korean Missile Test

People watch a television broadcast on North Korea's Sohae rocket-testing facility at Seoul Station in Seoul South Korea

People watch a television broadcast on North Korea's Sohae rocket-testing facility at Seoul Station in Seoul South Korea

He added, "We see exactly what they're doing now".

"There's a lot of activity all the time in North Korea, but I'm not going to speculate on what that particular commercial satellite picture shows", Bolton told the news show.

"What can you tell us?"

In his remarks, Biegun insisted that "diplomacy is still very much alive" with North Korea, but the absence of any scheduled meetings between Washington and Pyongyang, and the initiation of suspicious construction activity at the Sohae launch site has raised concerns that the positive atmosphere between Trump and Kim could quickly unravel.

"The election will strikingly manifest the fixed will of our people to firmly trust and uphold to the last Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un despite storm and stress", the ruling party's official daily said in a commentary on Sunday. "I would be very disappointed if I saw testing". He said the Trump administration took it "very seriously" but cautioned against drawing any snap conclusions.

The renewed activity at the launch site was detected just two days after the second Trump-Kim summit in Vietnam, which failed to reach an agreement to eliminate North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

"I think it remains good". We'll take a look.

While stressing he was not bound by an artificial calendar, Biegun said the administration wanted to accomplish the complete and verified denuclearization of North Korea by the end of Trump's term in January 2021.

The latest United Nations resolution punishing the regime for its 2017 ballistic missile test called for the suspension of any launches using ballistic-missile technology. The site was dismantled in an apparent show of goodwill after Trump's first summit with Kim in June and the USA president said he would be "very disappointed" if it was being rebuilt.

Confronted with North Korea's insistence on major sanctions relief at the summit, the United States made a counterproposal demanding full sanctions relief for full denuclearization, said the diplomats, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive negotiations.

It was the lowest figure in more than a decade, Tapan Mishra, the UN's co-ordinator in North Korea, said in a statement, adding that it had caused a "significant food gap". "So that's why, action for action, nearly inevitably in the past three administration has worked to North Korea's benefit".

North Korea is restoring facilities at the long-range rocket launch, which it dismantled a year ago as part of disarmament steps, according to foreign experts and a South Korean lawmaker who was briefed by Seoul's spy service.

"He gave a pep talk to (Hong), asking him to work well so that the university could fulfill its responsibility and obligation as the eldest son most trusted by the Party to make a breakthrough in improving science and education, invigorating (the) economy and bettering the standard of the people's living", the KCNA said.

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