The ‘L’ word: John Bolton provides a reality check about North Korean denuclearization

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DCNFRyan Pickrell, DCNF

The U.S. apparently has the Libya model in mind for North Korean denuclearization, according to White House national security adviser John Bolton.

“Will President Trump insist that Kim give up, ship out, all of his nuclear weapons, all of his nuclear fuel, all of his ballistic missiles, before the U.S. makes any concessions?” Fox News host Chris Wallace asked Bolton Sunday morning.

“Yes, I think that’s what denuclearization means. We have very much in mind the Libya model from 2003, 2004,” Bolton replied.

After Libya forfeited its nuclear arsenal, the country’s leader, Muammar Gaddafi, was violently overthrown by Western-backed rebels and brutally executed. North Korea has long cited the fate of Gaddafi as justification for its nuclear program.

“The Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq and the Gaddafi regime in Libya could not escape the fate of destruction after being deprived of their foundations for nuclear development and giving up nuclear programs of their own accord,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency wrote just two years ago. It is unlikely that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is a fan of the Libya model for denuclearization.

Kim has agreed to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and during Friday’s landmark summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the two Korean leaders expressed a commitment to the pursuit of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula through complete denuclearization and phased disarmament. The despot’s pledge was even presented to the North Korean people by state media.

The North Korean leader has already offered to close the Punggye-ri nuclear test site and has put a moratorium on weapons testing, but skeptics remain suspicious of North Korea’s intentions.

“There’s nobody in the Trump administration starry-eyed about what may happen here,” Bolton said Sunday, noting that North Korea has lied time and time again when it comes to denuclearization.

President Donald Trump, who is expected to meet with Kim in the next few weeks, has repeatedly said, “We’ll see what happens.”

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