Bolton pushes back on North Korea negotiations report

U.S. national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonThe shifting impeachment positions of Jonathan Turley The key impeachment hearings are before an appeals court, not the House Judiciary panel Beyond the myth of Sunni-Shia wars in the Middle East MORE on Monday pushed back on a New York Times report suggesting the U.S. may accept a "nuclear freeze" from North Korea in a new round of negotiations.

"I read this NYT story with curiosity," Bolton tweeted.

"Neither the NSC [National Security Council] staff nor I have discussed or heard of any desire to 'settle for a nuclear freeze by NK.' This was a reprehensible attempt by someone to box in the President. There should be consequences."

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The story was printed in the Times's "News Analysis" section and claimed that in new negotiations with North Korea the U.S. may be willing to tacitly accept the country as a nuclear power.

That approach would enshrine the status quo, stopping North Korea's nuclear arsenal from growing, but not requiring the dismantling of any weapons the rogue nation may currently have.

"We are confident in the accuracy of our reporting," Times vice president of communications Danielle Rhoades Ha told The Hill.

Ha also pointed to a line in the story that notes the “administration still insists in public and in private that its goals remain full denuclearization.”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax MORE made history Sunday by becoming the first sitting U.S. president to enter North Korea when he and North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong Un North Korea's UN ambassador: Denuclearization is off the table Biden: Trump is 'ripping the soul out of this country' North Korea takes shot at Trump: 'Senility of a dotard' MORE met for a surprise negotiation session that lasted almost an hour on the South Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone.

Trump has touted the meeting as a diplomatic success that will improve U.S.-North Korea ties. The president has met with Kim three times now in efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

Bolton's pushback on the Times's report continues the administration's adversarial relationship with media. The president has often lashed out at critical pieces on his administration and has called the media the "enemy of the people." 

Earlier this month, he accused the Times of treason, a crime punishable by death, after the newspaper reported the U.S. is stepping up its use of cyberattacks against Russia.

Updated at 8:59 a.m.