“This could go to Hell in a handbag”: Is John Bolton playing games with Trump?
In the News
May 18, 2018
After weeks of cheery rhetoric between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un about the prospect for historic nuclear talks next month, the disconcerting congeniality was punctured on Wednesday when Pyongyang suddenly cast doubt on the summit and placed the blame squarely on National Security Adviser John Bolton. “It is absolutely absurd to compare the D.P.R.K., a nuclear weapons state, to Libya, which had been at the initial stage of nuclear development,” Kim Kye Gwan, the vice foreign minister of North Korea, said in reference to Bolton’s declaration last month that the 2003 disarmament of Libya should be a “model” for the ongoing negotiations. Those remarks had echoed in the State Department, too. The Libya model, as Kim well knows, didn’t end well for Muammar Qaddafi, who was driven out of power in 2011 after an extensive NATO bombing campaign. The Libyan dictator, who had ruled his country with an iron fist for decades, was later found cowering in a drainage pipe; a graphic video of his last moments shows rebel fighters sodomizing him with a bayonet before shooting him. North Korean leadership has long pointed to Libya as precisely the outcome they are trying to avoid by keeping their nuclear program.