Trump’s Latest Blunder May Have Complicated Peace Talks With North Korea
In an Oval Office press spray Thursday, President Donald Trump attempted to clean up the “Libya model” comments made by National Security Advisor John Bolton last week. While it was clear that Bolton was suggesting a North Korean denuclearization deal akin to the disarmament agreement struck with Libya in 2003, Trump appears to believe that Bolton was referring to the Western decapitation strike of 2011.
On Wednesday, the North Korean government warned that it might pull out of the planned summit, scheduled for June 12, after Bolton’s suggestion on Face The Nation that before the United States made any concessions, North Korea must dismantle their nuclear program first – as Libya did in 2003. “I think we’re looking at the Libya model of 2003, 2004,” Bolton said.
Gaddafi’s 2003 decision to abandon the pursuit of a nuclear weapon allowed him to (briefly) rejoin the international community and kept his regime intact. Libya consented to onsite inspections by international weapons inspectors – a provision similar to the inspection regime agreed to in the JCPOA or, the Iran Deal, negotiated under the Obama Administration and recently violated by President Trump.
New: Trump says the Libya “model would take place if we don’t make a deal” with North Korea but if a deal is made “Kim Jong Un is going to be very, very happy”: pic.twitter.com/aiD1iF8ltV
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) May 17, 2018
“The Libyan model isn’t the model that we have at all when we’re thinking of North Korea. In Libya, we decimated that country. That country was decimated. There was no deal to keep Gadaffi. The Libyan model that was mentioned was a much different deal this would be with Kim Jong Un, something where he’d be there, he’d be in his country, he’d be running his country, his country would be very rich, his country would be very industrious.” – President Trump, May 17, 2018
Trump then added, “that [the Libya] model would take place if we don’t make a deal, most likely.”
Because of Donald Trump’s apparent ignorance of the differences between the 2003 and 2011 “Libya models”, he has telegraphed to Kim Jong-Un that if North Korea doesn’t strike the deal Trump wants, the United States will decimate Kim’s country and install new leadership. This makes Trump’s intent to tidy up Bolton’s comments as a way to assuage the North Korean government a case of irony worthy of an Alanis Morrisette song.