Wrapped in a shawl in disguise as a halmoni (Korean grandmother), Mr. Bolton has recently completed a tour of the Punggyerae test site.
White House Chief of Staff General Kelly has confirmed Mr. Bolton was parachuted in the dead of night with deadly accuracy into the tiny country.
His mission: confirm the test site is shut down or inoperable, with no signs of repair and no further developments.
Mr. Bolton’s report remains classified at this time.
Impact on a forthcoming peace summit involving Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim is not known.
Mr. Bolton’s heroic maneuver was completed without removal of his mustache as part of his disguise.
He assumed a hunched gait inside a long black dress with obscuring headscarf and muttering as little as possible of his newly acquired Korean vocabulary.
He has since revealed going behind enemy lines has been one of his fondest dreams since boyhood—as advanced intelligence scout preparing ground and air attack on North Korea.
He and Mr. Richard Cheney, of the George W. Bush administration, often spoke about possibilities of this kind.
At one time they considered developing a video game version as possible business investment.
Details of Mr. Bolton’s mission on this occasion are sparse except to note he was captured by a group of North Korean fishing men as he was emerging from inspection of the Punggyerae site.
Evidently the swagger in his stride alerted their suspicions, based on the usual way of walking by grandmothers in North Korea.
Mr. Bolton was then taken aboard a fishing trawler and ceremoniously hoisted up a mast, from which he was released into the East Sea, then hawled up again.
During the time of his dowsing the fishermen chanted: “Godeung-eoleul neomu joh-ahabnida” (so much for the wet mackerel) and “Geunen machi godeung-eocheoleom boibnida” (he looks like a met mackerel).
President Kim Jong Un, however, insisted Mr. Bolton be returned immediately to US protection so that ongoing peace arrangements with Mr. Trump could remain positive and convivial.
Hauled up from the fishing trawler to the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson, Mr. Bolton was restored to liberty and saluted, with the trawler allowed to go its way.
Sailors aboard the carrier reported what sounded like continued singing or chanting of “Geunen machi godeung-eocheoleom boibnida” (he looks like a met mackerel) aboard that vessel as it returned toward the shore.
Mr. Trump has announced Mr. Bolton should receive a Medal of Honor for his service, and the honorary title of “General Bolton” going forward.