John Bolton wants to remind you that he really hates diplomacy:
President Donald Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton says North Korea is facing a “decisive and dramatic choice” on whether to give up its nuclear program and ballistic missiles.
Bolton told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday that the U.S. will find out soon enough because diplomatic engagement will proceed quickly. He says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others will be meeting with North Korean officials. Bolton says the U.S. has no interest in lengthy talks [bold mine-DL].
Even if North Korea were prepared to disarm, hammering out the details of how and when this would happen could not happen quickly. Bolton rejects lengthy talks because he has no interest in a diplomatic solution. Any productive negotiations are going to take a long while. When Bolton says that the U.S. has no interest in lengthy talks, he is confirming that the administration isn’t going to take the time and make the effort required to secure an agreement on anything. Combined with Trump’s delusion that the problem has already been “solved” and the danger eliminated, Bolton’s statements make it less likely that talks between the U.S. and North Korea will be productive. Since North Korea isn’t going to make the “decisive and dramatic choice” that Bolton wants, he is setting up the negotiations to fail.
Secretary Mattis offered an accurate assessment of the situation earlier today:
Defense Secretary James Mattis on Wednesday said he is “not aware” of any steps North Korea has taken yet to denuclearize following the historic summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
North Korea has not taken any steps to do this because it is not going to do this. The longer that the president is allowed to pretend that this is going to happen, the worse it will be when he realizes that it won’t. Bolton is counting on the disappointment of unrealistic expectations to derail all diplomatic engagement with North Korea, and everyone that wants to thwart Bolton needs to make it as clear as can be that North Korea’s disarmament is not in the cards.