02:02 GMT +312 November 2019
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    North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with US President Donald Trump north of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019.

    US Not Discussing ‘Nuclear Freeze’ by North Korea - Bolton

    © AFP 2019 / Brendan Smialowski
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States is not discussing a nuclear freeze by North Korea that would allow Pyongyang to keep, but not increase its nuclear arsenal, and media reports to the contrary amount to an attempt to hinder Donald Trump’s efforts at denuclearising the Korean peninsula, National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Monday.

    "I read this [New York Times] story with curiosity. Neither the [National Security Council] staff nor I have discussed or heard of any desire to "settle for a nuclear freeze by [North Korea]." This was a reprehensible attempt by someone to box in the President. There should be consequences," Bolton said via Twitter.

    ​On Sunday, the New York Times reported that the Trump administration is considering an approach that would amount to a nuclear freeze, whereby the United States would accept North Korea's status as a nuclear power in exchange for Pyongyang agreeing to not increase the number of nuclear weapons.

    Also on Sunday, Trump briefly stepped over the demarcation line separating North and South Korea at the invitation of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, becoming the first US president to do so. The two leaders held an hour-long meeting inside the Freedom House on the South Korean side of the Demilitarised Zone.

    The United States and South Korea have since 2018 been engaged in diplomatic efforts to convince North Korea to dismantle its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

    Tags:
    nuclear arsenal, John Bolton, U.S, North korea
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