Selin ATAY-TDO-Former White House national security adviser John Bolton said he didn't believe President Donald Trump "really means it" when he said he was determined to stop North Korea from developing nuclear missiles that could be used to target the US.Bolton said that if Trump and his officials were serious about stopping North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's ambitions to expand its nuclear-weapons program, "it would be pursuing a different course."

"The idea that we are somehow exerting maximum pressure on North Korea is just unfortunately not true," Bolton said, referring to Trump's claims that his administration is applying "maximum pressure" on the North Korea in the form of punishing sanctions to extract concessions on its weapons program.

He went on to describe Trump's pledges to stop North Korea obtaining a nuclear weapon that could hit the US or its allies as a mere "rhetorical policy."If Kim did decide to defy US attempts to extract concessions, Bolton said he hoped the administration would say, "'We've tried. The policy's failed.'"

While Bolton has advocated launching military strikes against North Korea to halt its weapons program, Trump has touted his skills as a "dealmaker" capable of wrestling new agreements and new concessions from hostile regimes. 

"We're now nearly three years into the administration with no visible progress toward getting North Korea to make the strategic decision to stop pursuing deliverable nuclear weapons," Bolton said."Time is on the side of the proliferator," Bolton said

Bolton left the White House in September.His departure followed a series of clashes with Trump and rivals in the administration over key national-security issues, including Iranian aggression in the Middle East and a bid to oust Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro from power.The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Bolton's claims. 

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