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National intel director doubts breakthrough on North Korea talks

Dan Coats
Dan Coats at the Heritage Foundation October 13, 2017. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

"I'm quite skeptical about all of this," said Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday referring to talks of a denuclearization breakthrough with North Korea.

Why he is skeptical: Past administrations "have been frustrated" with previous talks and so-called breakthroughs since many "have just given them time to further develop" their nuclear capability, added Coats.

"Hope springs eternal" that this might be the breakthrough the international community needs on North Korea, said Coats.

The bottom line: Coats explained that U.S.' stance is that "North Korea has to agree to not possess nuclear capability...until that happens we cannot have an agreement with them...Maybe this is a breakthrough. I seriously doubt it," he concluded. North Korea has approached conversations many times before regarding denuclearization and a freeze — and all have fallen through.

Jonathan Swan 11 hours ago
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McMaster out, Bolton in as National Security Adviser

Bolton. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

H.R. McMaster plans to resign and will be replaced as national security adviser by former U.N. ambassador John Bolton. The White House said McMaster's departure had been under discussion for some time and that the process was sped up to end speculation about the role. McMaster will stay on until mid-April.

Bottom line: This isn’t about ideology — unlike Trump, Bolton is hawkish and interventionist on foreign policy. This is about personal chemistry. 

Khorri Atkinson 11 hours ago
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Meet John Bolton, Trump's new national security adviser

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference last month. Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images

President Trump said Thursday that national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who's resigning, will be replaced by John R. Bolton, a hawkish former United States ambassador to the United Nations.