United States National Security Advisor John Bolton said that North Korea's recent missile tests violated UN Security Council resolutions, the first time a senior US official issued such a statement .
"The UN resolution prohibits the launch of any ballistic missile," Bolton said Saturday. The trial launches of North Korea included short-range ballistic missiles and therefore "no doubt" it was a violation, he added, urging its leader, Kim Jong-un, to return to the denuclearization talks.
Bolton's statements arrive on the eve of a four-day visit to Japan by US President Donald Trump, which arrives on Saturday.
Earlier this month, Kim oversaw the first flight of a previously untested weapon – a relatively small and fast missile expert believes it will be easier to hide, launch and maneuver in the air.
Bolton said the United States is still open to talks with the Kim regime, but that has not changed its position compared to that outlined at the Hanoi summit. "Trump kept the door open for Kim, the next step is for Kim to go through it," he said.
Bolton also urged Kim to accept a meeting with the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, who he said could help restart dialogue on North Korea's weapons programs.
An Abe-Kim summit "could be a substantial assistance to this," he said.
Trump, who will play golf with Abe on Sunday before watching sumo wrestling, should discuss topics ranging from North Korea to China and two-way trade when they sit for a summit Monday.
The two leaders will also talk about growing tensions with Iran, Bolton said. Abe is considering a visit to Iran as early as mid-June, the Japanese public broadcaster NHK said Friday, the first of these trips in four decades.
Washington has said it will stop renouncing countries that buy Iranian oil and has designated Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization.
The United States is also deploying an attack group and carrier bombers in the Middle East in response to what the Trump administration has described as worrying "indications and warnings" from Iran.
Bolton, who led an increasingly aggressive US policy towards Iran, described recent attacks on oil tankers off the United Arab Emirates and a pumping station in Saudi Arabia, as well as a missile attack in the Green Zone of Baghdad in Iraq, as "manifestations of concern" ".
The United States has "deep and serious" information on the threat posed by Iran, said Bolton, who declined to provide details.