I assume readers of this blog are aware of the main outlines of the unfolding negotiations between North Korea and the Trump Administration, leading to North Korea’s abrupt cancellation of a projected meeting with South Korea and threatened cancellation of the Kim-Trump summit. Prominent in North Korea’s announcement was a direct attack, by name, on John Bolton, Trump’s new National Security Advisor. Bolton had gone on TV not merely to lay out the demand that North Korea completely give up its nuclear weapons, but also to explicitly reference the Libyan example as America’s model for North Korea. Inasmuch as Ghaddafi ended up being shot dead in a drainage ditch some years after giving up his nuclear weapons, Kim not surprisingly expressed discomfort with that model.
John Bolton is a thoroughly despicable human being, but he is far and away the smartest, most knowledgeable, most experienced member of Trump’s administration. I suggest that it is an absolute certainty that Bolton made that statement as a deliberate effort to scuttle what he patently considers Trump’s wrong-headed decision to seek out and agree to one-on-one talks with Kim.
It should be interesting to see how this plays out.