President Trump's national security adviser John Bolton talking about the template for denuclearization of North Korea on Fox News Sunday, May 20, 2018
Let's not mince words. If the summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un doesn't come off as scheduled on June 12 in Singapore the blame shouldn't be on North Korea having second thoughts. It should be laid squarely at the feet of Trump's national security adviser John Bolton.
Because it was Bolton who brought up the "Libya Model" as the "template for negotiating the denuclearization of North Korea", on "Fox News Sunday". You remember that "model". It was for Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi to relinquish his nuclear materials to the US in 2003 as a good faith gesture. That lasted till he was brutally murdered by US and NATO backed rebels in 2011.
Oh sure Kim called off the summit meeting with South Korean President Moon last week in response to the joint military exercises going on since May 12 between the US and South Korea that included B-52 bombers and stealth fighter jets calling it a provocation.
But after the Bolton remarks Kim said, "We will not be interested in talks anymore if they only try to push us unilaterally into a corner and force us to give up our nukes. It would be inevitable to reconsider whether to respond to the upcoming summit with the US".
To which Trump remarked he was "not happy" about North Korea's attitude. The summit "may or may not happen. If it doesn't happen, maybe it will happen later. It may not work out for June 12".
Well It's fairly simple. It doesn't take much imagination if you're Kim listening to all the bullying remarks coming from Trump's key insider Bolton. Why on earth would you consider giving up the one deterrent that has kept the US from attacking your country? Sure you've said you're ready to denuclearize the entire Korean Peninsula if you get assurances you won't be attacked. Then there's Bolton spouting the Libyan model.
Bolton is to diplomacy what a wrecking ball is to demolition.
Issuing not so veiled threats and continuing war like provocations against a country just weeks prior to a summit meeting with them are nothing more than ultimatums which Kim and North Korea are not dismissing lightly. Nor should they.
Yes there was Moon meeting with Trump on Sunday at the White House doing his best as the key go between Trump and Kim attempting to keep the June 12 summit on track but when one side-the US-remains verbally belligerent toward the other side-North Korea-that planned sit down is pretty much in jeopardy.
What's crazy is Trump really wanted to meet face to face with Kim after accepting his invitation. Trump wanted that Nobel Peace prize people were talking about. He even had the US Mint custom make a coin commemorating the Trump/Kim summit. But that was weeks before Bolton came on as Trump's national security advisor spouting his "wrecking ball" diplomacy.
For sure there will be further tit for tat in the coming days between the Trump, his inner circle and Kim regarding the June 12 summit but from here it's likely dead in the water.
Trump's scuttling the US on the Iran nuclear deal also shouldn't be lost on Kim considering it was a multinational agreed upon pact to which the US was a signee.
So the obvious question is why would Kim want to meet and negotiate in good faith with a man like Trump making any assurances he may offer in writing?
Ah anyone got some used toilet paper handy?