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John Bolton in Singapore in 2018 for the Trump-Kim summit. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

John Bolton made clear Monday just how deeply he disagrees with President Trump's North Korea policy — just 20 days after he was ousted as the president's national security adviser.

Why it matters: Bolton said he was glad to be able to give his views "in unvarnished terms." If he continues to do so on a broader range of topics, Bolton could be one of Trump's most damaging foreign policy critics.

  • He did say, though, that he has a "self-imposed restriction" on discussing specifics from his time in the White House.

Bolton told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies that North Korea was and would continue to be committed to keeping and expanding its nuclear weapons program, rendering Trump’s summit-based strategy pointless.

  • He contended North Korea wouldn’t "ever voluntarily give up enough" in negotiations, and said the U.S. should consider a military option. He cited regime change as one potential outcome.
  • He also raised the "Libya model" of denuclearization — a comparison that outraged North Korea and, as a result, Trump when he referenced it while serving in the White House. Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was toppled a decade after giving up his nuclear program.

On his personal impressions of Kim Jong-un, Bolton said: "I think it's clear he’s in charge. I think it's clear he makes the decisions. And I think he feels very comfortable in that role."

  • Bolton said he was sure "the leadership of North Korea is delighted I'm here today in a private capacity," rather than in the White House.

The big picture: Bolton argued that the U.S. should be more deeply engaged around the world and must strengthen ties with allies — views that runs contrary to Trump's.

Go deeper: Bolton's chaotic White House departure

Go deeper

Air quality alerts issued as California fires threaten more sequoias

The Windy Fire blazes through the Long Meadow Grove of giant sequoia trees near the Trail of 100 Giants in Sequoia National Forest, near California Hot Springs, on Tuesday. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Two wildfires were threatening California's sequoia trees over overnight, hours after authorities issued fresh evacuation orders and warnings, along with air quality alerts on Wednesday.

The big picture: Officials in the Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley issued air quality alerts as smoke from the Windy and KNP Complex fires resulted in hazy, "ash-filled" skies from Fresno to Tulare, the Los Angeles Times notes.

Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a September news conference in Viera, Fla. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Wednesday an emergency order allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they're exposed to COVID-19, provided they're asymptomatic.

Why it matters: People infected with COVID-19 can spread the coronavirus starting from two days before they display symptoms, according to the CDC. Quarantine helps prevent the virus' spread.

Federal judge: Florida ban on sanctuary cities racially motivated

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday struck down parts of a Florida law aimed at banning local governments from establishing sanctuary city policies, arguing in part that the law is racially motivated and that it has the support of hate groups.

Why it matters: In a 110-page ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom said the law — signed and championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because it was adopted with discriminatory motives.