Specifically targeting U.S. President Donald Trump’s warmongering, anti-diplomacy national security adviser as the primary reason it has threatened to cancel a planned summit with the United States, North Korea’s vice minister of foreign affairs Kim Kye Gwan issued a scathing statement on Tuesday making clear that Pyongyang will not be silent about its “feeling of repugnance towards” John Bolton.
“Many have rightly voiced fears that the administration’s plan may be to come to the table with North Korea with unrealistic, maximalist demands so that it can claim that it tried diplomacy and diplomacy failed, making it easier to build a case for war.”
—Gabe Murphy, Peace ActionWhile Bolton has made countless statements in support of regime change and reckless foreign policy adventures as both a “free agent” and an official in the Bush administration—statements that earned him the nicknames “bloodsucker” and “human scum” in Pyongyang—North Korea was particularly angered by the national security adviser’s recent invocation of Libya as the “model” the U.S. should follow in nuclear negotiations with North Korea.
In 2003 and 2004, former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi agreed to abandon its nuclear weapons program in exchange for sanctions relief. But in 2011, the U.S.—with the enthusiastic backing of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—helped topple and kill Gadhafi and turn Libya into a “terrorist haven.”
North Korean officials believe Bolton, who has called for regime change in Pyongyang, desires the same fate for their nation.
“High-ranking officials of the White House and the Department of State including Bolton, White House national security adviser, are letting loose the assertions of a so-called Libya model of nuclear abandonment,” Kim said. “This is not an expression of intention to address the issue through dialogue. It is essentially a manifestation of awfully sinister move to impose on our dignified state the destiny of Libya or Iraq which had been collapsed due to yielding the whole of their countries to big powers.”