Koreas Brace for Hard-Line John Bolton

North Korea USA America Kim Trump hard-lineSEOUL — The appointment of John Bolton as President Trump’s national security adviser portends a tough U.S. policy toward North Korea even as South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in is planning to meet the North’s Kim Jong-un in late April and Trump is to see Kim in May.

Conservatives in the United States are applauding Bolton’s appointment in place of H.R. McMaster, an Army lieutenant general who is not seen as quite hawkish enough.

Bolton’s appointment comes as a shock to American liberals, who are pulling out all the stops to attack him for the hard-line views that he has been expressing for years.

South Korean officials are making a show of their eagerness to get along with him but privately have misgivings. Might he not ruin chances for a successful Moon-Kim summit and then advise Trump not to see Kim at all?

Bolton, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush for 18 months, has been angering critics in the United States and overseas for years for his advocacy of strong, decisive action against perceived threats, including chemical and biological as well as nuclear warfare.

“The Legal Case for Striking North Korea First” — that was the headline over an article that he wrote for the Wall Street Journal before we ever got the news that Kim Jong-un would meet with either Moon or Trump.

“Does the necessity of self-defense leave ‘no choice of means and no moment of deliberation,’” the article asked, making clear the United States should be ready to strike North Korean nuclear and missile facilities before the North had the chance to develop the means to attach a warhead to a long-range missile capable of reaching targets in the United States.

Bolton justified striking North Korea pre-emptively in view of what he saw as “gaps in U.S. intelligence about North Korea.” Indeed, “We should not wait until the very last minute,” he wrote, maintaining it was “perfectly legitimate for the United States to respond” to North Korea’s nukes “by striking first.”

He’s been equally hawkish about Iran, arguing that Barack Obama should never have entered into the agreement under which Iran promised not to go on developing nuclear warheads while focusing on nuclear power. His warlike approach to Iran jibes perfectly with that of Trump, an outspoken critic of any agreement that he believes would ultimately give Iran an upper hand in the great conflict of forces in the Middle East.

“Time is terribly short,” Bolton wrote in the New York Times before the agreement was adopted in 2015, “but a strike can still succeed.” The Israelis, he suggested, should have free rein to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities before Iran had the chance to produce its first warheads.

Like Trump, Bolton feared the agreement had “huge loopholes” through which Iran was “driving its missile and nuclear programs.” A pre-emptive attack by Israel, he said, “should be combined with vigorous American support for Iran’s opposition, aimed at regime change in Tehran.”

So right wing is Bolton’s position that analysts are inevitably asking whether Kim Jong-un will want to consider a summit at which Bolton would probably be present in his new role as national security adviser. His appointment comes after Trump named the CIA director, Mike Pompeo, as secretary of state in place of Rex Tillerson, who had a considerably more conciliatory view.

Trump is thought to have been restrained from taking more extreme action by his secretary of defense, Jim Mattis, along with Tillerson and McMaster. They are not at all dovish but cautioned against any action that might result in retaliation by North Korea in the form of artillery strikes capable of killing thousands in the Seoul-Incheon region where half of South Korea’s 51 million people live and work.

President Moon appears likely to try to make the best of Bolton’s appointment, obviously hoping that he will tone down his views in the run-up to Moon’s meeting with Kim in April. In that spirit, a Blue House spokesman assured everyone that “we will be cooperating closely with President Trump, the national security adviser and the secretary of state.”

What counted, said the spokesman, who did not want his name used, is not what Bolton thinks “but how the entire U.S. government and President Trump will try to resolve this issue” of North Korea’s nuclear program. Bolton, he said, has to have his views aligned with those of President Trump, and we will be providing sincere cooperation.”

It will be interesting, however, to see what Bolton has to say about the Winter Olympics, at which Moon welcomed a North Korean team marching with South Korean athletes under the “one Korea” flag of a light blue image of the Korean peninsula against a white field.

After attending the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics, Kim Jong-un’s younger sister presented Moon a letter inviting him to a summit. After the Olympics a delegation of Blue House officials went to Pyongyang, meeting Kim Jong-un as he expressed his “willingness” to meet Trump and talk over denuclearization.

Bolton in his Wall Street Journal article said “North Korea’s propaganda effort” at the Olympics was intended “to divert attention from its nuclear-weapons and ballistic-missile programs” and predicted the next “U.S. action against the Kim regime … may be a very rough thing.”

Pompeo, Bolton noted, had said that North Korea was within months of developing the means to attach warheads to long-range missiles. Given these comments, it seems certain that Bolton will advise Trump against any deal that might appear as a compromise on demands that Kim abandon his nuclear program as a condition for moving ahead on rapprochement with the United States or South Korea.

From - The Daily Signal - by Donald Kirk

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4 years ago

Ya, all this detente is BS. Can’t trust any of them. I have to ask, why all of a sudden now? Whats changed?

Thomas Haj
4 years ago

Finally, a national security advisor who demands accountability instead of drawing lines!

4 years ago

The time is way overdue that we had someone on our side deal with NOKO who might actually recognize and understand what and whom they really are and what they’re really up to.
Maybe the current administration will get it right and handle everything NOKO and Rocket Man to the benefit of the rest of the globe.
Without resorting to using US Taxpayer funded bribery.

4 years ago

I believe one of the many “eye stares” Trump should look young diaper stain Kim Jung Un in the eye with…… is the one accompanied by the words: “You will release the U.S.S. Pueblo to the U.S. Navy, and offer a full apology to the United States for committing piracy upon the high seas against The United States and its property.”

Thomas Haj
4 years ago
Reply to  Fornortener

But… but the “unbiased” media once ran a headline claiming that ObeyMe “stared down” N. Korea (on a trip to S. Korea he visited the DMZ and looked over the border). The MSM’s “Best President ever”!

Wayne Peterkin
4 years ago

I’m a Bolton fan and promoted him as my choice as Sec. of State as the President was assembling his first cabinet. But Bolton’s appointment, while a good one, is as an ADVISOR. That does not mean that the President’s policy will change, only that his advisor may recommend a tougher policy. But the president still makes the call.

Burton Pauly
4 years ago

Boy Howdy!!!!!! I really like Bolton’s stance on dealing with everyone, but especially the scum of the earth like North Korea, Iran, China, and Venezuela. He should be confirmed, and the liberals need not bitch. This man is a no nonsense individual who is a Patriot. Thank you President for his nomination. This nation has been kissing the old brown eye too long. And the appeasers have had their run , So now the hard a–e- are in charge, and to hell with what the liberals think….

F Lee
4 years ago

My wife is American born in Korea. We have many friends and family who are Korean and most people say Moon-Jay Kim is a Socialist at best and more toward the communist party than any of the presidents before him. He will go easy on the North and give away everything. This will lead to the South being taken over by the communist.s and they will eventually become under communist rule. We had better watch out for Moon Kim. Be extremely careful he is one who plays a game of niceness but is a commie under the cover.

Brian B
4 years ago

The world is at the cusp of World War III. The question is who will strike first, and which nations will align themselves against the free world.
While Hitler was rapidly building his war machine, England waited………and waited until Hitler invaded Poland. By then, Germany’s armaments were beyond anything England could compete with. Winston Churchill repeatedly spoke in the House of Commons as a voice of warning to deaf ears. Across the ocean, America didn’t want to get mired in another World War. Roosevelt was so busy trying to turn America progressive and socialist, that he ignored Japan’s threats until it was too late. The bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii forced Roosevelt to react.
For eight years Obama watched as China, Russia, North Korea and other enemies of freedom continued to advance their military machines. ….and Obama did nothing. As a result of his neglect we could be at a dangerous disadvantage if these nations aligned themselves against us. Pompeo, Bolton and Trump may be the “Winston Churchill’s” of our time. I have confidence in these men.
Learn from history……or repeat the mistakes.

Wayne Peterkin
4 years ago
Reply to  Brian B

My only rebuttal is that Obama did worse than nothing. He damaged our national defense to the point that we are almost incapable today of dealing with the world’s challenges without major rebuilding, which President Trump seems committed to doing. The globalists see America as the biggest challenge to be overcome in the march towards their coveted “New World Order”. Those like George Soros have publicly said so! Soros, Obama, Clinton, and too many others are supporters of that NWO as they visualize themselves in positions of higher power, and that is what it is all about. Power over people with the elites in charge, not government of, by, and for the people.

Brian B
4 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Peterkin

I agree. Obama did worse than nothing. He was the “Nero” of the American Presidency. He not only watched as “Rome” burned, but dumped fuel on the fire. Fortunately Obama only had 8 years to do his subversive damage to America. Roosevelt died in his 4th term, and remains the seminal hero of the Democratic ( socialist / communist) Party.

Bill in TX
4 years ago

Bolton is a good choice along with other Trump changes. For the past 10 years congress has wasted time and billions of US dollars in the facade of negotiations with North Korea/China. If the US had a congress and state department who have not been influenced by personal financial and business deals with China then we could negotiate. But our political leaders are so deep in personal financial gain regarding that part of the world they are incapable of making any US favorable negotiations. John Kerry’s family made billions with China business dealings. He and Joe Biden were so “influenced” by personal family gain that they caved into China’s demands in past negotiating. It is time to take a stronger position in all world matters.

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