John Bolton says diplomatic dance with NK was South Korea’s creation
SEOUL — Former US national security adviser John Bolton wrote in his new book that US President Donald Trump’s diplomacy with North Korea was South Korea’s “creation,” and that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was able to manipulate the American president.
In his memoir “The Room Where It Happened,” which is due to be published next week, Bolton wrote extensively about his disagreements with Trump before, during and after the Singapore summit with Kim, CNN reported on Thursday.
“The whole diplomatic fandango was South Korea’s creation … relating more to its ‘unification’ agenda than serious strategy on Kim’s part or ours,” Bolton wrote, according to an advance copy obtained by CNN.
Despite the objections of his advisers, Trump was “desperate to have the meeting at any price,” and Kim had him “hooked” at the Singapore summit as they flattered each other in their meeting, Bolton wrote.
Bolton also wrote that when Trump told Kim he would seek US Senate approval of any nuclear deal, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo passed Bolton a note saying “he is so full of shit,” in which Bolton suggests Pompeo was referring to Trump, not Kim.
Bolton wrote that he hoped the summit would “collapse” before it happened and compared it to the appeasement of Nazi Germany, according to CNN.
ABC News reported that Bolton wrote in his book: “I was sick at heart over Trump’s zeal to meet with Kim Jong Un.”
Asked about Trump’s three meetings with Kim in particular, Bolton told ABC News: “There was considerable emphasis on the photo opportunity and the press reaction to it and little or no focus on what such meetings did for the bargaining position of the United States.”
According to the New York Times, Bolton wrote in the memoir that Trump’s decision to meet with Kim in Singapore was a “foolish mistake,” and his desire to then invite Kim to the White House was “a potential disaster of enormous magnitude.”
A series of Trump’s Twitter posts about China and North Korea were “mostly laughable,” he wrote.
The New York Times also reported in a separate article about Bolton’s memoir that Trump spent weeks fixated on trying to give Kim an autographed copy of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” on CD.
Bolton wrote that Trump wanted Kim to know that when he called him “Rocket Man,” it was a term of endearment.
According to Fox News, Bolton wrote that North Korea’s short-range missile launches in May 2019 represented a violation of UN Security Council resolutions, but it was also “entirely possible for the launches to violate the resolutions without violating Kim’s pledge to Trump, which involved only ICBM launches.”
“It was equally true that Trump looked foolish for not understanding that Kim had, in effect, sold him the Brooklyn Bridge with that pledge, but we were never able to shake Trump’s faith he had scored a coup in getting it,” Bolton was quoted as writing.
After Bolton told reporters that there was “no doubt” of a violation, Trump revealed his thoughts on Twitter, writing: “North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, and also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual and worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?”
Bolton also wrote: “When Pompeo told Trump that North Korea wanted ‘security guarantees’ before denuclearization, Trump responded ‘This ‘trust building’ is horsesh –” the smartest thing on Pyongyang he had said in months.”
Bolton wrote that Pompeo was correct to add, “It’s all an effort to weaken the sanctions, a standard delaying tactic.”
According to Fox News, Trump was quoted as saying in Bolton’s book: “We just need to put on more sanctions, including on China for opening up the border. Kim is full of s—, we have three hundred more sanctions we can impose on Friday.”
The Washington Post reported that the book also described how Pompeo tried to stop Trump from pulling US troops out of various countries, including in the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula.
“Pompeo said he feared Trump was back to leaving the Peninsula entirely,” Bolton wrote of the aftermath of one summit.
Trump blasted Bolton on Twitter on Thursday, saying when Bolton “so stupidly said that he looked at the ‘Libyan Model’ for North Korea, all hell broke out,” referring to Bolton’s April 2018 remarks on a CBS show.
“I asked him, ‘what the hell were you thinking.’ He had no answer and just apologized. That was early on, I should have fired him right then and there!” Trump added.
Bolton left the administration after clashing with Trump over multiple policy issues including North Korea.
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