Bolton warns a reelected Trump could strike ‘reckless’ deal with Pyongyang

Posted on : 2024-02-01 17:51 KST Modified on : 2024-02-01 17:51 KST
The former White House national security adviser is considered to have played a key role in the breakdown of the 2019 summit in Hanoi
John Bolton, the former US national security adviser.
John Bolton, the former US national security adviser.

Former US national security adviser John Bolton is warning that Trump could strike a “reckless” deal on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program if he is able to nab another term in office.
In a newly penned foreword to his 2020 memoir, “The Room Where It Happened,” the paperback of which hit bookshelves on Tuesday, Bolton writes, “Imagine Trump’s euphoria at resuming contact with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, about whom he famously boasted, ‘We fell in love.’”
“Trump previously almost gave away the store to Pyongyang, and he could try again early in a second term,” Bolton predicted. “A reckless deal on the North’s nuclear weapons program would further alienate Japan and South Korea, and extend China’s influence.”
Bolton also argued that while North Korea and Russia have made strategic moves, they will not prevent Trump from reaching out to Kim again, claiming, “Pyongyang’s emerging role in the Beijing-Moscow axis, including providing ammunition and weapons for Russia to use against Ukraine, will not deter Trump from getting back together with Kim.”

Bolton, who was fired after a year and a half as the third national security adviser of Trump’s term, has been a vocal critic of the former president, calling him “unfit” for the presidency.
Even in the new introduction to his memoir, Bolton writes that Trump “cares almost exclusively about his own interests,” making him unfit.
He goes on to argue that a re-elected Trump could push for withdrawal from NATO and that the war in Ukraine would turn in Russia’s favor. Taiwan and other countries bordering China could “face real peril in a second Trump term,” he states, adding, “It is a close contest between Putin and Xi Jinping who would be happiest to see Trump back in office.”
An advocate of the North Korea “collapse” scenario, the former adviser claims that the US-North Korea summit was nothing but a show for Trump. Bolton is credited with having played a key role in the collapse of the 2019 Hanoi summit.
In his memoir, Bolton claims that he pushed for the rejection of the draft agreement with North Korea and even advised Trump on how he should walk out of the summit.
The US news website Politico reported in December that Trump was considering offering relief from sanctions in North Korea, in return for the freezing of the country’s nuclear capabilities if he returns to office.
This report suggested that Trump was willing to let North Korea keep its nuclear program.
Trump has since dismissed the report as a “made-up story, disinformation” spread by his rivals in the Democratic Party.

By Lee Bon-young, Washington correspondent

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