Fate of Denuclearization Deal in the Hands of Kim Jong Un

Kim Jong Un

The failure to conclude a deal on denuclearization last week between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, is in fact a “success”, according to National Security Adviser John Bolton.

A second summit between the two leaders in Hanoi, capital of Vietnam, to strike a nuclear disarmament deal between the two countries broke up in confusion on Thursday, with no joint statement being released.

Bolton said that Trump had “opened the door” for North Korea when the leaders first met in Singapore last year. In an interview with CBS, Bolton said the president’s success in Vietnam are not yet tangible and are still a work in progress.

“I don’t consider the summit a failure,” said Bolton. “I consider it a success defined as the president protecting and advancing American national interest. Extensive discussions between the president and Kim Jong Un and- and the issue really was whether North Korea was prepared to accept what the president called “the big deal,” which is denuclearize entirely under a definition the president handed to Kim Jong Un … the president held firm to his view. He deepened his relationship with Kim Jong Un. I don’t view it as a failure at all when American national interests are protected.”

“Not as we have defined it although they have committed in public in prior regimes in North Korea– four or five times in writing to denuclearize and that’s something … we expect them to do if they reach an agreement with us,” Bolton said referring to North Korea’s disagreement on denuclearization as US wants.

“[Trump] didn’t walk away with a failure,” Bolton continued. “Unless you’re prepared to say that it would be better to accept a bad deal than to walk away from no deal, to me that’s a success.”

For trump, the failure comes as a huge blow as his rapport with Kim Jong Un was not sufficient to resolve the complex issue of denuclearization. Trump would not give a heads up for a third summit, unless he is sure to procure a deal.

“Sometimes you have to walk and this was just one of those times,” Trump said on Thursday, adding that he would “rather do it right than do it fast.”

On the other hand, the deal failure must have explained the North Korean leader that the US government cannot be neglected and a deal directly from Trump cannot be procured. Trump’s moving out of the summit, leaves Kim with little choice but to indulge in harder negotiations in order to uplift the sanctions he has desired to.

It is now Kim’s decision to either abandon the deal or authorize working-level negotiations to reach an agreement that can be signed at the third summit, if at all it happens.


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