National security adviser John Bolton on Sunday refused to comment on commercial satellite images appearing to show the reconstruction of a long-range rocket launch site in North Korea.
“I’d rather not get into the specifics on that,” he told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz on “This Week.”
“The United States government … expends a lot of resources and effort so we don’t have to rely on commercial satellite imagery,” he said.
Beyond Parallel, an initiative of the Washington-based Center for Strategic & International Studies, on Tuesday published the photos in a report saying the Sohae facility, which had been inactive since August, was rapidly being rebuilt. It published additional evidence Saturday.
Bolton’s response to the images remained vague.
“We’ve seen a lot in North Korea,” he said. “We watch it constantly. There’s a lot of activity all the time in North Korea, but I’m not going to speculate on what that particular commercial satellite picture shows.”
The photos were taken on March 2, two days after President Donald Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended. The two leaders did not reach a deal on denuclearization.
Bolton pivoted to critiquing prior administrations, saying Trump wouldn’t repeat the mistake of “assuming that the North Koreans would automatically comply when they undertake obligations.”
Bolton then pointed to several instances, dating back to 1992, of North Korea breaking its promises to dismantle its nuclear weapons programs.
“They never seem to get around to it, though,” he said.
Bolton told Raddatz that Trump is “open to a third summit” with Kim but that nothing has been scheduled.