Around the World With Bolton: From Disaster in Haiti to Iran to Mexico's Murders

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," January 12, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: This is a "Fox News Alert." A massive earthquake has rocked the country of Haiti, the worst quake to hit Haiti in 200 years, measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, and hit about 10 miles southwest of the capital, Port-au-Prince. The damage is catastrophic. A U.S. official tells the Associated Press the scene is total disaster and chaos. There are bodies lying in the streets. And of course, people are screaming for help among the rubble.

The U.N. headquarters in Haiti reportedly serious damaged, a major hospital collapsed. Haiti is in darkness tonight. Power and communications are out throughout most of the country. And Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world. Casualties are expected to be very high.

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton joins us live. Ambassador, what do you think the U.N. is doing tonight to mobilize to help this poor country?

JOHN BOLTON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Well, I suspect that the major part of the response will be orchestrated by the United States and our foreign disaster assistance program, given the proximity to the United States. I think we'll get a lot of assistance from other countries in the Western hemisphere, but I think the relief effort will almost certainly be led by the United States.

VAN SUSTEREN: And this is a country that sure didn't need this. You know, earlier in the show, we talked about it. I mean, it's so poor, the buildings are so flimsy, it's, like, you know, if you take a deep breath, you can knock some of these buildings over. Imagine an earthquake of this magnitude.

BOLTON: It's the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. And any kind of shock like this is going to have a devastating effect. I think the casualties will be very high, and the lack of medical facilities and doctors and nurses and medical infrastructure is just going to make it that much worse.

VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, we won't know until daylight strikes tomorrow the extent of what has really happened to this poor country.

BOLTON: Yes. I expect our military...

VAN SUSTEREN: All right...

BOLTON: ... will be involved in a very major way just to get relief supplies in, and medicines and medical equipment.

VAN SUSTEREN: The United States moves pretty quickly on that stuff, to help some of these countries.

All right, North Korea today says that it's willing to conduct parallel talks on its nuclear program, as long as we formally end the war - - they want to talk about formally ending the war that began in 1950. And also, they want the sanctions lifted. Is this going to happen?

BOLTON: No, but this is a typical North Korean effort. You know, we've had an armistice with the North Koreans since 1953. They would like a formal peace treaty. They would like full recognition diplomatically from the United States. And they'd like all this linked to the negotiations on their nuclear weapons program because they know they are better negotiators and have been historically than the State Department, and they think they can use this as a way of extracting political benefits from the United States without giving very much.

Now, the State Department has rejected this. I think that's obviously the right thing to do. But the North Koreans are not going to give way on this. There's a lot of political symbolism and some tangible political benefit to them in pursuing this approach, and I think we can expect it to continue.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why not end the war, though? I mean, it -- the war, for all intents and purposes, ended in 1953, at least the military action. And we've had this armistice since 1953. Is there -- you know, what's the down side if we just sort of cherry pick some of these items and at least go from an armistice to at least ending the military action?

BOLTON: Well, I think...

VAN SUSTEREN: Is it that we can't keep our soldiers -- our military there, or could we still keep them there?

BOLTON: No, I think we certainly would keep them there because I think the government of South Korea wants them. It may look like it's simply a technical matter of recognizing the reality of the past 50 years, but the fact is, the North Koreans have repeatedly violated the armistice agreement. And it would be entirely to their political advantage to gain the legitimacy, to end the war -- let's remember -- is against the United Nations. Our presence there technically is authorized by a Security Council resolution.

So the North Koreans see this as a way of getting out of a burden now that they've carried all these years. And I'm not saying, at some point, we shouldn't resolve it. But we ought to get something for it, not give them more of what they want.

VAN SUSTEREN: But wouldn't they also have to be giving, too? I mean, they'd have -- they'd also have to lay down the -- you know, the sword, as well, I mean, in a peace thing. If we signed a peace agreement, wouldn't it be the same thing for North Korea to say, Look, you know, we're out of this, too, and you know, just sign it?

BOLTON: Well, this possibility has been there for over 50 years. And I think what they're hoping for is not that we would have some kind of reciprocity and a deal but that they would snooker the United States into ending the war, signing a peace treaty, granting diplomatic recognition before they gave away anything more on the nuclear program. They're very good about this. They'd say, Look, it's just a matter of timing. And they have high confidence they can out-negotiate us.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Iran -- an opposition leader was murdered. A bomb-rigged motorcycle blew him up. And now Iran is saying that somehow, you know, the United States was part of his murder, along with Israel. Where does this lead -- lead -- you know, why now?

BOLTON: Well, obviously, we don't know everything in connection with this, but this particular scientist was a nuclear expert. Not clear if he was involved in Iran's nuclear program, but obviously, the government is trying to use this for its propaganda purposes, pointing to -- pointing the finger at the United States and Israel.

Obviously, it wasn't the United States doing it, and using this kind of motorcycle bomb doesn't look to me like an Israeli tactic. So I think this could well be the government itself, the Iranian government itself, assassinating this person and blaming the U.S. and Israel to give them a further excuse to crack down against the opposition.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, the news today -- 69 drug murders in Mexico in one day, drug-related, right on our border. What are we going to do about Mexico?

BOLTON: Well, the program that the Bush administration started a few years ago, which in conjunction with the government of Mexico, in effect, to militarize the war against the drug lords, is still in its early stages. And I think this is something that we have to recognize is actually now becoming less of a law enforcement matter in Mexico and more of a real civil war against these drug cartels, which are, in a way, alternative forms of government. Same is true down in Colombia, and really increasingly around the world.

So this is not a time to cut back. I think we ought to cooperate more with the government of Mexico because, otherwise, these cartels, these drug gangs are getting powerful enough to pose a real threat to the stability of the government of Mexico. And Hugo Chavez and his ilk are not helping out. If this instability continues and grows, we could have a really -- we have a substantial problem now, but it could keep getting worse.

VAN SUSTEREN: I follow Mexico every single day. Every single day, the drug-related murders are unbelievable, but 69 in one day really tops all, and it is extraordinary. Ambassador, thank you, sir.

BOLTON: Thank you.

Content and Programming Copyright 2010 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2010 CQ Transcriptions, LLC, which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon Fox News Network, LLC'S and CQ Transcriptions, LLC's copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.