Is John Bolton Trying To Sabotage Trump's Historic North Korea Summit?

news

North Korea and the U.S. backslid from previously rosy relations on Tuesday when media from Pyongyang attacked President Donald Trump's national security advisor John Bolton for his comments about North Korean denuclearization.


Bolton, who has extensively advocated for the U.S. using military options against North Korea, recently said that the US should treat North Korea's disarmament like Libya's, something which preceded the death of Libya's former leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

North Korean media shot back on Tuesday, calling the comparison "absolutely absurd" and expressing a "feeling of repugnance towards" Bolton.

Bolton must have known the Libya comparison carried dark connotations for North Korea, but he said it anyway, despite the fact that North Korea and Libya have extremely different weapons programs and geopolitical situations.

But according to experts, Bolton may have been trying both to provoke North Korea and over-inflate Trump's expectations in a bid t0 sabotage future peace talks.

Jeffrey Lewis, a top North Korea expert, said on his Arms Control Wonk podcast that Bolton is "trying to sabotage" the Trump-Kim summit "by talking about a Libya-style deal."

According to Lewis, Bolton is trying to "push the president to expect that when he shows up for that summit meeting, Kim is going to tell him where all the weapons are and encourage him to get on a plane to pick them up."

Lewis maintains that the talks will not be so easy and that North Korea's promises thus far disguise true, more shrewd intentions.

New National Security Adviser John Bolton(R) listens to US President Donald Trump speak during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 9, 2018.Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Another common talking point among North Korea experts is that inflated expectations over the summits could lead to disaster when one or both parties find out the other isn't willing to give as much as the media or the South Korean go-between indicated.

The White House downplayed Bolton's comments after North Korea lashed out, with press secretary Sarah Sanders saying on Wednesday of Bolton's "Libya Model": "I haven't seen that as part of any discussions so I'm not aware that that's a model that we're using."

Read more from Business Insider:

WATCH NEXT:

Casperassets.rbl.ms

Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

Take $75 off a Casper Mattress and $150 off a Wave Mattress with code TASKANDPURPOSE

And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

Read More Show Less
Veterans Day at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, 11 November, 2018. Photo: Erich Backes/U.S. Army

In typical veteran community fashion, hundreds of people showed up to two separate funerals last week for veterans who otherwise would have been buried alone.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Darien J. Bjorndal)

KABUL (Reuters) - The Taliban killed more than 100 members of the Afghan security forces inside a military compound in central Maidan Wardak province on Monday, a senior defense official said.

Read More Show Less
Coast Guard cutter Bertholf on a counterdrug patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean, March 11, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Trees

U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bertholf left California on January 20 for a months-long mission in the Pacific to support U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the largest of the U.S. military's geographic combatant commands.

Coast Guardsmen aboard the Bertholf left Alameda on the 30th day of what is now the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. They left a few days after not getting their first paycheck since that shutdown started and without knowing when the next will come.

Read More Show Less
Plebes in the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2015 march into Bancroft Hall following noon meal formation in Tecumseh Court. (U.S. Navy)

Leaking pipes. Moldering walls. Condemned offices and balconies. Plumbing that can't handle its load and a stormwater system dumping unfiltered rainwater into the Severn River.

These aren't the issues of a long-abandoned factory. They describe the current condition of the Naval Academy.

Read More Show Less