SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Monday called U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton a “war monger” and “defective human product” after he called the North’s recent tests of short-range missile a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
The statement by an unnamed North Korean foreign ministry spokesman came as President Donald Trump continued his visit to Japan for meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in which the nuclear standoff with North Korea was expected to be high on the agenda.
Bolton told reporters in Tokyo on Saturday that there was “no doubt” that North Korea’s recent launches violated U.N. resolutions, and that sanctions against the North must be kept in place.
North Korea tested short-range ballistic missiles on May 4 and 9, ending a pause in launches that began in late 2017. The tests have been seen as a way for North Korea to pressure Washington to soften its stance on easing sanctions against it without actually causing the negotiations to collapse.
In the statement carried by Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency, the North Korean spokesman said that the North was rightfully exercising its rights for self-defense with the launches.
“Demanding us to ban all launches using ballistic technology regardless of range is same with asking us to relinquish our rights for self-defense,” the spokesman said. “Bolton should not be called a security adviser who works to secure security, but an adviser for security destruction who destroys peace and security. It’s not that strange that crooked sound will always come out the mouth of a man who is structurally flawed, and it’s best that this defective human product goes away as soon as possible.”
The statement came as South Korea began its annual summertime defense drills involving thousands of civilians and troops that have been modified to exclude large-scale military exercises with the United States, which were suspended to create space for diplomacy with the North.