Nat'l Security Advisor Jake Sullivan Worries N. Korea Will Attempt Another Nuclear Test, Says Ukraine NATO Membership 'Not up for Negotiation'

Jake Sullivan appears on Face the Nation 7-16-23. (Credit: CBS)

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan appeared on “Face the Nation” with Margaret Brennan Sunday to discuss a number of issues, including North Korea’s missile tests, the Russia-Ukraine war, and Iran’s nuclear program.


He’s worried that North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un will attempt another nuclear test:

I have been concerned for some time that North Korea would conduct what would be its seventh nuclear test going back multiple administrations. And I remain concerned about that. I don’t see any immediate indications that that’s going to happen.

But it would not come as a surprise if North Korea moved forward with another nuclear test with respect to its intercontinental ballistic missile capability. This is a capability they began testing several years ago, they have continued to test it. We watch all of those tests very closely to see how it is developing. And we coordinate extremely closely with our allies with Japan and Korea, to make sure that we are responding in lockstep to this threat.

He added that the U.S. has reached out to the Hermit Kingdom regarding negotiations but concludes that they are not “ready for diplomacy.” He also pointed out that China needs to take on more of a role.

Turning to the Russia-Ukraine war, Sullivan said that if Putin continues the fight, it will come at “grave cost” to Russia. He also said Ukraine’s future is in NATO, and “that’s not up for negotiation”:


The Ukrainians are currently, as we speak, bravely and courageously, pushing against the Russian lines in the south, and in the east. They are inflicting enormous damage on the Russian forces. The West is working to continue to tighten the squeeze of our sanctions, hollowing out Russia’s defense industrial base, weakening its capacity to produce advanced technology. We will continue to put economic pressure on Russia, and the Ukrainians will continue to put military pressure on Russia.

So I think in the end, if Russia chooses to continue fighting in this war, it will come at a grave cost to Russia. And Ukraine will continue to make progress on the battlefield. In the meantime, we are going to make sure that Ukraine has the support it needs for as long as it takes, and that is a message that came out of the NATO Summit.

And finally, yes, we said at NATO very simply Ukraine’s future is in NATO. We meant it. That’s not up for negotiation. That’s something that now all 31 allies have committed to.


Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been lobbying hard for admission to the alliance but was denied entry at a recent NATO summit. President Biden has said he does not support adding Ukraine while it is still at war with Russia because allowing them in would immediately mean that we were at war. Zelenskyy was furious at the denial and raged that a vague promise is not an actual timeline. “It’s unprecedented and absurd when time frame is not set neither for the invitation nor for Ukraine’s membership,” he said.

Regarding Iran, meanwhile, the news is short, and it’s not good:

With respect to the nuclear program, we’re not close to any kind of a deal.


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