National Security Adviser John Bolton says Kim Jong Un isn’t living up to his end of the deal. Bolton wants to see a lot less talk and considerably more action. “What we need is performance from North Korea,” he told Fox News on Tuesday, “not more rhetoric.” Of course, the American people will believe this when it happens.
Bolton already has been designated the “bad cop,” itching to eliminate the petulant dictator the same way Moammar Gadhafi was removed from Libya. For now, they will be sending in the “good cop,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“I’ve done a lot of deals with a lot of people, and sometimes the people that you most distrust turn out to be the most honorable ones, and the people that you do trust, they are not the honorable ones,” President Trump observed.
Most of those in the Trump cabinet will believe it when they see it. The president isn’t about to just take Kim’s word on compliance. “We’re going to be verifying, and we’re going to be working with them.”
He explained his entire intelligence team, headed by Bolton, will be working closely with North Korea. “Today we introduced him to John Bolton which was a very interesting thing,” President Trump noted.
Kim Jong Un was sure to remember that Bolton was instrumental in talking Gadhafi into peacefully giving up his nuclear weapons in 2003. The media made sure to remind him that Gadhafi fell out of favor with the U.S. a few years later and died violently.
What the media doesn’t tell you is that Gadhafi worked hard to get on the bad side of most of the civilized world and was held partly responsible for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. They also don’t say that he was captured and killed by Arabs.
Julian Kossoff of International Business Times reports, “they humiliated him in his death throes, including sodomizing him with a bayonet, as he pleaded, “What did I do to you?” They then paraded his corpse for days so the nation would believe he was dead.”
When John Bolton talks about the “Libya model” being applied to North Korea, he is talking about what he considers a total success story, not turning Kim into a popsicle like Gadhafi. Kim seemingly doesn’t see it that way.
“After years of isolation and being caught up in a web of sanctions, the leader of a regime made a simple, but profound strategic choice, he came to the conclusion that his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction made his country and his regime not more, but less secure.”
“It is not just the outside world that has benefited. Indeed, what a difference a year has made to the people of Libya since Colonel Gadhafi made and acted upon that bold and momentous decision.”
A remark Bolton made then was very prophetic. Referring to Kim Jong Un’s father, Bolton remarked, “Almost exactly a year ago, I spoke of the strategic choice faced by Kim Jong Il.”
“I spoke of how relations between the United States and DPRK would advance once it stopped devoting the country’s scarce resources to the pursuit of weapons of terror and mass destruction.”
“I spoke of how the long-suffering people of North Korea would benefit enormously from exchanges and opportunities to interact with the outside world.”
Kim has made some efforts in the right direction. Some facilities have been dismantled, and remains of some casualties have been returned. Those are all a good start. They also are misleadingly incomplete when what is required is a total end to the nuclear program.
North Korea, Bolton insists, “has not taken the steps we feel are necessary to denuclearize.” He wants to see international observers on the scene, which hasn’t yet happened.
“There were some… representatives of the media who were kept at a distance and not shown anything except the bright explosion.”
“I think the view in South Korea and elsewhere is that the test site is not necessarily disabled. That’s why, when you engage in the process of denuclearization, you need international inspection, you need declarations of what North Korea has, you need observers and inspectors who can verify what’s happening.” Until then, the sanctions stay in place.
For decades, North Korea has followed the same pattern as Iran, using “negotiations to camouflage their on-going nuclear and ballistic missile efforts.”
“I think we should not fall for that ploy again. I think we should insist that if this meeting is going to take place, it will be similar to discussions we had with Libya 13 or 14 years ago, how to pack up their nuclear weapons program and take it to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, which is where the Libyan nuclear program is.”
While Kim was certain he could get away with the same tactics that previous administrations fell for, telling the U.S. what they want to hear while secretly breaking the rules, President Trump is patiently corralling him in and getting him broken to the saddle.
Mike Pompeo, someone who Kim is more comfortable dealing with than Bolton, serves the role of repeating the message over and over again until it gets through. With cooperation, there are opportunities to make friends with the world while getting his economy rolling again.
Trying to drag his feet will only make things harder. Bolton suggests, “President Trump has held the door open for them. They need to walk through it.”