John Bolton keeps doing what he can to derail diplomacy with North Korea. This time, he lied that North Korea had already agreed to disarm within a year:
RADDATZ: And so you think within a year – is that the time frame?
BOLTON: And Kim Jong-un said yes. So the one year period that we’ve talked about from the point where North Korea makes the strategic decision to denuclearize is something that the North and South Koreans have already agreed to.
And – and why is that significant? President Trump has gone out of his way to hold the door open for Kim Jong-un, that’s what the Singapore meeting was about.
North Korea has never agreed to disarm, and it isn’t going to. Bolton’s insistence on wrapping everything up within a year isn’t just unrealistic. It is a deliberate attempt to sabotage all talks with North Korea. Bolton is setting absurd expectations based on his misrepresentations of what happened at previous meetings, and he is doing this to shift blame to North Korea for “violating” agreements they never made. The trouble for Bolton is that no one believes a word he says, and everyone can spot when he is just making things up:
Kim Jong Un never said such a thing. This is a lie, told by Bolton, to sabotage the process. https://t.co/mPxhGppn1d
— Jeffrey Lewis (@ArmsControlWonk) August 19, 2018
Bolton is so obviously hostile to diplomatic engagement that everyone correctly assumes he is up to no good, and he tells such blatant, easily discredited lies that he isn’t fooling anyone outside the administration. What worries me is that he might very easily fool the president, who has never understood the relevant issues and knows nothing about them. The danger for the U.S. and South Korea is that Trump will listen to Bolton’s destructive counsel and undermine the genuine progress that South Korea has made with its policy of engagement.