North Korea has not taken enough concrete actions towards denuclearization following a historic bilateral summit with the U.S., a senior White House official said Tuesday.
National Security Advisor John Bolton maintained during an interview with Fox News that Washington has lived up to its commitments under an agreement reached with North Korea in June, but said Pyongang "has not taken the steps we feel are necessary to denuclearize."
"The idea that we're going to relax the sanctions just on North Korea's say so, I think, is something that just isn't under consideration," Bolton said. "We're going to continue to apply maximum pressure to North Korea until they denuclearize."
The comments follow North Korean calls for Washington to drop sanctions.
But Bolton insisted that following the June 12 sit-down between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un the North has failed to match words with action, and said relaxing sanctions is not currently under consideration.
"What we really need is not more rhetoric,” Bolton said. “What we need is performance from North Korea on denuclearization.”
North Korea’s foreign minister claimed Saturday that the U.S. is not holding up its end of their denuclearization deal.
Ri Yong-ho said that North Korea has halted nuclear and missile tests and is also dismantling its site for nuclear weapon experiments.
"However, the United States, instead of responding to these measures, is raising its voice louder to maintain the sanctions against [North Korea] and show the attitude to retreat even from declaring the end of the war, a very basic and primary step for providing peace on the Korean Peninsula," he said.
Washington has maintained it will only agree to formally end the Korean War -- having signed a 1953 armistice -- once the North has denuclearized.
The UN Security Council adopted its latest resolution punishing Pyongyang following the authoritarian regime's sixth nuclear test nearly a year ago.
By Michael Hernandez in Washington