The Washington Post reports that South Korea is blaming John Bolton for blowing up the negotiations with North Korea. Specifically, they blame him for the thing I criticized him about, explicitly mentioning Libya and Gaddafi as the model for denuclearizing North Korea, which was a monumentally stupid thing to say.
But in South Korea, many say the blame for the sudden problems in the diplomatic process lies squarely at the feet of someone else: John Bolton.
“There are several land mines on the way to the summit between North Korea and the U.S.,” said Chung Dong-young, who served as unification minister during the last progressive administration and is now a lawmaker. “One of those land mines just exploded: John Bolton,” Chung told YTN Radio.Woo Sang-ho, a lawmaker in Moon’s ruling Democratic Party, agreed. “Bolton’s preposterous ‘Libya solution’ is a red light in North Korea’s summit talks with the U.S. and South Korea,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
Officials in senior positions in the Moon administration know the American national security adviser’s background well.
But here’s my bet: Bolton did it on purpose. He is probably happy and proud to have blown it all up. Because this is a man who absolutely gets off on starting wars. If he proposed that we start bombing Canada, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised. And he isn’t a stupid man at all. He knew when he said that Gaddafi and Libya was the model that it would enrage Kim Jong-Un and cause the reaction it did, just like he knew that violating the Iran agreement would undermine those same negotiations. To him, that’s a feature, not a bug.