President Donald Trump has found North Korea to be an unwilling partner on a denuclearization pact, according to National Security Adviser John Bolton.
"The North Koreans were unfortunately not willing to do what they needed to do," Bolton told "The Cats Roundtable" on 970 AM-N.Y., per The Hill. "Just [Friday] night they issued an unhelpful statement that they're thinking of going back to nuclear and ballistic missile testing, which would not be a good idea on their part."
With the negotiations stalled after two summits, the last of which President Trump had walked away from, the United States is not giving up on its goal to denuclearization the Korean Peninsula.
"President Trump wants this threat resolved through negotiations," Bolton added to host John Catsimatidis, per The Hill. "He wants North Korea to be free of nuclear weapons, that's for sure."
With Chairman Kim Jong Un unwavering in his own goals of making North Korea a nuclear power, the U.S. would be left with economic sanctions and pressure from allies, like China, in lieu of diplomacy.
"The idea that there's a role for China in the negotiations is something that we'd be willing to consider if we could see some movement on North Korea's part," Bolton said, per The Hill. "The Chinese have said repeatedly they don't want to see North Korea with nuclear weapons at all because they think it destabilizes North East Asia . . .
"In theory, China has the same position we do. What they could do more of is apply more pressure on North Korea. They could apply the U.N. sanctions more tightly. They control 90 percent of North Korea's external trade, so China could have a very important role here. There's no question about it."
Relying on China has not been all that easy, though, particularly amid the United States' own pressure campaign in trade negotiations – making it possible Russia might have to be involved there.
"China is building up its nuclear capacity now," Bolton said, per The Hill. "It's one of the reasons why we're looking at strengthening our national missile defense system here in the United States.
"And it's one reason why, if we're going to have another arms control negotiation, for example, with the Russians, it may make sense to include China that discussion as well."