While President Trump’s reaction to “hiccups” in diplomacy ahead of the North Korea summit is to threaten Kim, South Korean officials say they see the real problem as John Bolton. MP Chung Dong-young referred to Bolton as one of “several land mines” that are in the way of the summit.
South Korea’s current pro-diplomacy government has a lot of familiar faces to their last such government, which was in power when Bolton was a hawkish ambassador. South Korean analysts saw Bolton’s hawkish stance on North Korea before as a problem, and say he hasn’t changed.
When Bolton’s talk of the “Libya model” in North Korea immediately provoked fury from the North Korean government, US officials didn’t seem to understand why. South Korean officials say the “Libya model” was an obvious red light to North Korea.
Indeed, it’s a blunder to the point where officials suggest that Bolton is deliberately interfering in the peace process, and trying to botch it in doing so. The North Korean government has also been deeply critical of Bolton, which appears to be a topic of agreement between them.