Trump adviser - some time may pass before a third North Korea summit

Bolton also refused to comment on an observation by Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Project, who said that it looks like North Korea is in the process of building a rocket.

On Friday, the website of NPR posted a satellite image that the public broadcaster said showed intense activity around the North's Sanumdong site, where missiles and satellite-launching rockets have previously been assembled.

Trump said after his first summit with Kim in Singapore last June that Kim had promised to dismantle the test stand, a pledge the North Korean leader reiterated and expanded on at a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in September.

He also says Trump would "be pretty disappointed if Kim Jong Un went ahead and did something like that" after he vowed not to at a summit in Vietnam.

He said Trump has been very clear that he views the absence of missile testing by North Korea as a positive sign of his negotiations with Kim and wouldn't be happy if the regime began conducting them again.

Satellite analysis now indicates increased activity at two key sites - the Samundong missile research facility and the Sohae rocket launch centre.

Any launch would send the stuttering talks on denuclearisation into disarray, after a high-stakes second summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un collapsed last month without a deal.

"I think it remains good. So that's one reason why we pay particular attention to what North Korea is doing all the time", Bolton told Raddatz.

"The President has made abundantly clear to Chairman Kim that he's personally invested in taking North Korea in this direction if North Korea gives up all of its weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivery", the unnamed official elaborated.

Soviet-style Communist states had a long tradition of holding general elections, he said, even if the ruling party ignored its own rules about holding regular congresses - something the North skipped for more than 30 years. We're going to have to have some more conversations and do the additional work, Bolton said.

For North Koreans who defect, the South's electoral system was "definitely novel", said Sokeel Park, of campaign group Liberty In North Korea.

"The technology for making sure you put the satellite into the right orbit is the same technology for making sure the missile is on the right course", Lewis said, noting that previous North Korean launches used older technology. "He wants to make the right deal".

"If North Korea commits to complete denuclearization- including its ballistic missile program and its chemical and biological weapons programs, the prospect of economic progress is there", Bolton said last week. A satellite launch in April 2012 killed off an Obama administration deal for a freeze in North Korean nuclear and missile testing reached weeks earlier.

Besides potentially angering Trump, North Korea must avoid undercutting support for sanctions relief from China and Russian Federation.

  • Rogelio Becker